Wednesday 26 September 2018

Snowfall, black ice and freezing conditions as 'polar low' hits Ireland

  • Met Eireann issues nationwide ''snow-ice' status yellow warning
  • 'Polar low' bringing ice, snow and freezing temperatures
  • Black ice on the roads this morning
  • 'Treacherous conditions' reported in some parts of the country
  • Motorists urged to take care on the roads
Croagh Patrick this morning Photo: @JustStickers1 Twitter
Croagh Patrick this morning Photo: @JustStickers1 Twitter
Snow falling in Mayo on Friday Credit: Midwest Radio video
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

There was snowfall in parts of Mayo this morning - and motorists are being urged to take care on the roads as a weather warning is issued for the whole country.

Pictures and videos posted on Twitter show snowfall in Bonniconlon, near the Mayo and Sligo border.

A national status yellow 'snow-ice' warning is now in effect until midday on Saturday, November 25.

The weather warning was issued on Friday morning ahead of plummeting temperatures, snow and ice as a 'polar low' sweeps over Ireland.

Motorists are being cautioned to take extra care on the roads today.

The AA Roadwatch advise that "stopping distances are 10 times longer on snow and ice and gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving.

"Use major routes as they are more likely to have been gritted than secondary routes."

Drivers should also watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

In Laois a number of routes are still impassable in Mountmellick. There is also flooding on St Patrick Street in Portarlington.

In Galway, the AA Roadwatch are warning of "treacherous conditions" on the M18 Galway/Limerick north following a hail shower.

In Donegal black ice has been reported on the N13 at Manorhamilton and there's black ice approaching Buncrana on Cardonagh/Buncrana Road.

Meanwhile, scattered snow showers are likely and expected to be frequent in Ulster and Connacht.

People are being urged to wrap up warm as temperatures plummet to minus 4 degrees in some places.

Temperatures are expected to only reach between 3 and 4 degrees today.

There'll be a bright start to most parts of the country and the first half of the day is likely to be sunny but cloud will increase later.

Wintry showers in the west and north will become more widespread, especially in Ulster and Connacht with clear skies across most of the country.

Tonight will be cold and windy with widespread frost.

Lowest temperatures are expected to hover around freezing.

Saturday will be cold and windy and more wintry showers and highest temperatures of between 5 and 7 degrees.

Tomorrow night will be dry however but it will still feel cold and frosty.

Sunday is another cold day but temperatures are expected to rise to 8 or 10 degrees with heavy rain expected across the country.

Gerald Flemming of Met Eireann said that November has been mild so far but the cold snap is normal for this time of year.

"It's really a big change from what we've had so far in November which has been a relatively mild month. This time last year we were looking at minus 7 degrees so it's in no way unprecedented," he told RTE Radio One.

He stressed that motorists should take care on the roads today and tomorrow, "especially the back roads - the main roads will have been gritted and salted - mind your speed and keep your distance that little bit longer."

Mr Flemming said that it isn't likely that temperatures will get as low as the 'big freeze' in 2010.

He also said that snow isn't expected for Christmas.

"There's no sign of anything like we had back in 2010 when we had that exceptionally cold period. I'd never bank on a White Christmas though. At this stage we just can't tell what it will be like coming into Christmas."

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