Thursday 17 January 2019

Nation braced for snow and sleet after cold snap forecast

Stock picture
Stock picture
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Don't put those winter coats and woolly hats away just yet - snow is set to return as chilly conditions are forecast.

Met Éireann has forecast that from tonight and into Wednesday, temperatures will plunge and there will be the possibility of hail and sleet showers and snow.

After a wet start to the day, Monday will brighten up, with most of the country enjoying sunny spells.

The clear weather in the evening will see temperatures dip tonight leading to widespread ground frost.

Temperatures will range from 0C to 4C with the south and east of the country getting the sharpest frost.

Tomorrow will be largely dry but showers in the north-west in the evening are predicted to turn wintry, leading to hail, sleet and possibly snow on higher ground.

Thickening cloud in the north-west will bring outbreaks of rain for parts of Connacht and Ulster towards the evening in freshening south-westerly winds.

Deirdre Lowe, forecaster with Met Éireann, told the Irish Independent that once the rain subsides, wintry showers will start to hit the country.

"[Today] as the rain clears southwards, it will be mainly dry but colder with the possibility of wintry conditions," she said.

"Tuesday will be a cloudy day with rain and drizzle becoming widespread in the evening."

A young girl walks in the snow in Mallow, Co Cork just after Christmas
A young girl walks in the snow in Mallow, Co Cork just after Christmas

Tomorrow night, however, will bring in chilly, gusty westerly winds with lows of zero to 4C.

Wednesday will see these conditions continue, with showers of hail, sleet and snow across the country, though Met Éireann say that north and west of the country are set to be particularly affected.

Scattered showers, some of them wintry, will continue through Wednesday night, bringing a risk of icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

Lows of -1C to 3C are predicted.

"Once the rain clears, it will get much colder," added Ms Lowe. "It will still be cold and blustery on Thursday, but a little less windy than Wednesday."

Scattered showers will continue, but they will be less frequent than on Wednesday, with longer drier intervals along with sunny spells too.

Afternoon highs will range from 4C to 7C with gusty north-westerly winds moderating.

"Then, on Thursday, we will see wintry showers on high ground along with a wind chill factor, mainly affecting the north," added Ms Lowe.

"Temperatures will probably be 4C or 5C in Ulster and 7C or 8C in the south."

Ms Lowe added that the strong winds will make it seem colder than it actually is.

"While temperatures are set to be no higher than 5C in most parts on Thursday afternoon, the wind will make it feel much colder."

However, the cold snap will be short-lived as normal temperatures will return on Friday and the outlook for the weekend is for changeable weather with some night frost.

Irish Independent

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