News Weather

Tuesday 18 December 2018

'Beast from the East' to bring seven days of frost, ice and maybe even snow

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Ralph Riegel and Independent.ie Newsdesk

Freezing winds from Scandinavia and Siberia, dubbed the 'Beast from the East', will keep spring at bay and hold Ireland in an icy grip for at least the next week.

Met Éireann warned that Ireland faces another seven days of frost, ice and potential snow showers with the odd spell of bright sunshine.

Temperatures dropped overnight with a noticeable return to wintry conditions.

Friday will be colder with extensive cloud cover as gusty conditions help keep temperatures from plummeting.

However, as winds ease on Friday evening the temperatures will fall to -2C overnight with the coldest conditions in Leinster and Ulster.

This is largely due to a cold front from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe which will remain stalled over Ireland and the UK.

In the UK, where the cold blast earned the nickname 'Beast from the East', the Met Office are predicting temperatures to dip to -8C on Sunday night.

Met Office meteorologist Martin Bowles said: "Somewhere like the Scottish mountains might go lower than that, but that's actually quite normal in the Scottish mountains, whereas it's definitely not normal to have minus 5C in London at the end of February.

"We haven't had temperatures that low in late February since 2013. It's not unheard of. There are records that are lower than that."

He added: "But it is quite unusual, particularly as it's quite late in the season.

In Ireland we will escape that level of winter conditions.

Saturday will see spells of sunshine with the Six Nations rugby clash between Ireland and Wales in Dublin likely to see largely calm and sunny albeit cold conditions.

A widespread frost is likely on both Saturday and Sunday mornings with a risk of black ice on higher ground along untreated road surfaces.

Gardaí urged motorists to drive with care, particularly in the morning along secondary roads.

Temperatures will drop again on Sunday evening with both Monday and Tuesday likely to prove exceptionally chilly.

"It will be very cold for this time of year," a Met Éireann official warned.

Next week will open with temperatures of -2C or even -3C with a widespread frost and a risk of showers of sleet or even snow along higher ground on both Monday and Tuesday.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) warned motorists to adhere to winter driving rules - to slow down, allow extra time for journeys and to allow additional space to other drivers given the increased braking distances required.

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