News Weather

Friday 21 September 2018

How the Siberian freeze will unfold - and when to expect 'dynamic snow' and blizzard-like conditions

  • A cold front - originating from the North Pole - will begin making its way across Ireland
  • Status Orange alert likely to be issued today
  • Red Alert 'likely' later in the week
  • 'Two pronged attack' as cold air meets precipitation
  • Preparation underway nationwide
Cold weather conditions on the Wicklow Mountains Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Cold weather conditions on the Wicklow Mountains Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

As Ireland prepares for an incoming weather system that will bring freezing conditions Met Eireann is expected to upgrade the warning in place to a Status Orange warning, with a Status Red alert expected later in the week.

But how will the weather unfold and when can we expect the worst conditions?

Today will be dry and cold with only the odd snow flurry.

It is Tuesday evening and night that the weather will begin to deteriorate as cold air from Siberia, originating in the North Pole, moves in from the east and travels westwards across the country.

"By Wednesday morning there is likely to be a fair amount of snow along eastern coastal counties," Evelyn Cusak, deputy head of forecasting told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

"From Wednesday evening, Wednesday night and Thursday morning we are talking about snow showers from the Irish sea.

"The high danger area for country-wide is Thursday evening, Thursday night and Friday morning," she said.

Over this period what is known as "dynamic snow" is expected due to a "two-pronged attack" as two weather systems meet.

Click to view full size graphic
Click to view full size graphic

A weather system is pushing up from the Bay of Biscay bringing a lot of precipitation and as it hits the cold air across Ireland and Britain there is a high risk of some very heavy snow.

Met Éireann has not estimated how much snow will fall but Ms Cusak said that due to easterly gales there will be blizzard-like conditions.

"Because it's very dry air, the snow will be quite powdery so it will reduce visibility very significantly," she said.

Low temperatures of up to -10C are expected but Ms Cusak warned that a significant chill will make it feel much colder.

Warnings

A Status Orange warning is expected to be issued for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Later in the week a Status Red warning is likely to be issued.

A young priest throws a snow ball during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
A young priest throws a snow ball during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
Tourists walk and take pictures in the central Via dei Fori during a snowfall in Rome on February 26, 2018 AFP/Getty Images
A man feeds pigeons during a heavy snowfall in Sofia on February 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO
A woman with a child walks dogs during a heavy snowfall in Sofia on February 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO /
Saint Peter's Basilica is seen in the background as people enjoy the snow following a heavy snowfall at the Circus Maximus in Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Commuters walking in the snow on London Bridge, as some parts of the UK are set to feel colder than the Arctic Circle as freezing temperatures continue into the week ahead Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A priest plays with snow during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
A monument is covered by snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A young priest throws a snow ball during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
Women and children walk on the stone-block pavement in central Moscow, Russia February 25, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
People walk during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
People make their way across the Millennium Bridge, in central London, in windy conditions as freezing air from Russia is to grip the UK in what is set to be the coldest late February in five years. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Commuters walking in the snow on London Bridge, as some parts of the UK are set to feel colder than the Arctic Circle as freezing temperatures continue into the week ahead. Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Trevi fountain is covered in snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
People walk during a heavy snowfall in downtown Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
A man skis during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
Nuns walk during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

"We generally would not issue a red in advance of a 48-hour period," Ms Cusak said and added that people should keep up-to-date with Met Éireann throughout the week.

Preparation

The Government's National Emergency Co-ordination Group is meeting today to discuss plans for the expected weather.

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority warned motorists to expect challenging driving conditions and, if necessary, to postpone non-essential journeys.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland and local authorities are already planning to dramatically increase their road salting operations.

Irish Water is also mobilising crews as frozen pipes become in issue.

Local authorities around the country are also preparing for the week ahead.

Meanwhile, work is underway to ensure that rough sleepers are aware of beds and shelter available as conditions worsen.

The Department of Education is also monitoring the situation nationwide but say decisions to close schools are taken at a local level.

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