Thursday 14 December 2017

Chilly and frosty start this morning with more freezing weather on the way

It was a freezing start this morning Photo: AFP/Getty Images
It was a freezing start this morning Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Frost covered leaves in Dublin's Phoenix Park as temperatures dip. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Patrick Kelleher

It was a bitterly cold start to Monday morning as the chilly and frosty weather made it even harder to get out of bed.

The mild start to autumn feels like a distant memory as plunging temperatures and northerly winds hit the country.

Today will be largely dry with sunny spells, after the cold start, with just isolated showers, mainly in the north. Maximum temperatures of seven to 10 degrees.

Temperatures plummeted towards the end of last week and will drop even further this week, according to Met Éireann.

Mullingar in Co Westmeath was one of the coldest places in the country on Saturday night, hitting a low of 1C.

Last night was expected to record the coldest temperatures yet, with some places dropping as low as -2C, with frost forecast for much of the country.

Nowhere dropped below zero on Saturday night, although Casement Aerodrome came close to freezing.

The cold snap is of concern to motorists as they prepare to face icy roads this morning.

The only part of the country safe from frost last night and over the coming days will be the north-west region, which will see some milder temperatures.

However, the rest of the country will be hit by the freezing cold this week, with inland counties worst affected.

While the time to dig out scarves and gloves may have come sooner than expected, the news is not all bad.

Despite the freezing temperatures, there will be a decent amount of sunshine and very little rain this week.

So while it may be too cold for comfort, conditions will at least remain dry, bright and sunny on the whole.

While the plunge in temperature may have felt sudden, conditions like these are entirely normal for this time of year, and the sudden drop was to be expected, according to Met Éireann.

According to the forecasting division, this time of year usually sees a sharp drop in temperature as the winter cold sets in.

Vigilant

AA Roadwatch is advising drivers to take extra care to stay safe this winter.

A spokesperson said it was important to allow extra time for your journey and be especially vigilant of the potential for accidents.

"With the mild weather over the last few months, people may have become a bit complacent," the spokesperson said.

"It's important to leave extra time for your journey because you may need to de-ice your car.

"Remember that pouring hot water on the windscreen is not a good idea as this could weaken or even crack the glass.

"Also remember that when you are driving in frosty or icy conditions that the stopping distances are 10 times longer."

Irish Independent

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