Road users are being warned to take extra care on Thursday and Friday as an amber snow and ice warning currently in place across Ireland could lead to dangerous driving conditions.
Some areas in the Midlands and Limerick have already experienced snowfall, according to Met Éireann, who said up to 30mm of snow is possible by Friday.
Limerick and Clare were blanketed in heavy snow this morning. The Midwest was now waking up to an inch, but snow showers were expected to ease later in the day.
A woman was rescued from a snowy Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry, Ireland’s highest mountain, in treacherous conditions early Thursday morning. The injured woman had fallen and required assistance and was stuck with six people in a ravine in the Hags Glen area.
She was brought down safely at 1:30 a.m. after an eight-hour operation by members of the Kerry Mountain Rescue. The conditions in the mountains are “extremely challenging,” said the rescuers.
“This has been a long and difficult operation,” said spokesman Gerry Christie. The group had to be taken to a higher ridge before being led down. It was snowing at the time but not freezing.
Visibility is poor in southern Kerry County this morning while roads in Limerick are in a treacherous state with reports of truck jack-knifing. Ballybunion, Listowel, Athea, Abbeyfeale are the hardest hit.
Castlemaine, Co. Kerry’s Short Mountain Road remains closed.
Due to ice and snow in rural parts of the county, some TFI Local Link Limerick Clare services have been disrupted by cancellations and delays but were due to resume later on Thursday.
The yellow status warning, which went into effect at 3am Thursday and will remain in place until 11pm, said rain, sleet and snow will spread north across the country throughout the day.
“Snow accumulations are expected in many areas along with icy conditions,” the warning said. “Freezing rain and snow will likely turn to rain for a while in the southern areas.”
According to the Met Éireann, the “potential effects” of this are dangerous driving conditions, travel disruption and poor visibility.
An amber low temperature and ice warning will be in effect from 9pm Thursday to 10am Friday, with the possibility of widespread icy stretches that could create dangerous driving conditions.
A second yellow cold ice warning for Leinster, Cavan and Monaghan was issued from 11pm Thursday to 7am Friday.
The country’s extreme weather crisis team held a virtual meeting on Wednesday to discuss the impact of the expected snowfall.
The meeting of the Housing Ministry group was attended by officials from local authorities, other departments, Met Éireann and first responder organisations. It will hold a second virtual meeting on Thursday at 11am.
Met Éireann spokesman Gerry Murphy has warned of snow and sleet showers across much of the country today.
Ireland is “in the grip” of a cold snap that will last until the end of the week, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
A band of rain that has begun moving northward across the country has begun to fall as sleet and snow as temperatures drop, he explained.
The North Midlands, Connacht and Ulster are set to experience the worst of the weather, which will spread to the rest of the country tonight with ‘disturbing’ snowfalls on the east coast. As the band traverses the country, conditions will improve in the Southwest, he added.
“We’ve had reports from Mayo, Kilkenny, Laois, across the Midlands, some very heavy snowfall in parts of Limerick and Clare. Now it’s time to go further north. So this afternoon, the northern half of the country will get mostly sleet or snow, while farther south will likely get more rain and sleet,” Murphy said.
“But it’s worth noting that this really is the first half of the story, because then tonight and tonight we’re going to see everything reverse itself. Snow will then continue to spread throughout the country.”
Mr Murphy said if the snow clears overnight it will be followed by a very sharp freeze with ice meaning the roads will be “quite treacherous” on Friday morning.
“Between overnight frost, snow and then rain and snow, especially over the eastern half of the country in the morning, it’s certainly going to be quite dangerous on the roads tomorrow morning,” he added.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has advised all road users to prepare for “dangerous” road conditions and limited visibility.
The RSA said motorists should check local traffic conditions and weather before driving in inclement weather.
https://www.irishtimes.com/environment/2023/03/09/weather-warning-woman-rescued-from-carrauntoohil-as-snow-falls-in-midlands-limerick-and-kerry/ Carrauntoohil woman rescued as snow falls in Midlands, Limerick and Kerry – The Irish Times