Conditions set to improve after heavy snowfall in parts of the country – The Irish Times

The worst of the freezing conditions in recent days was expected to leave Ireland by midday on Friday, but forecasters have warned of uncertain conditions for the weekend.

The first of two orange weather warnings went into effect at 11 a.m. Thursday, with much of the country bracing for heavy snowfall, ice and high winds overnight.

The first alert covered nine counties in the north and northwest of the country by midnight. A subsequent orange warning forecast snow would make its way to Leinster before clearing over the Irish Sea around 10am this morning. A nationwide yellow warning for snow and ice is in effect until this afternoon.

“It’s going to clear up pretty well for Friday,” said Met Éireann meteorologist Brandon Creagh. “It will still be quite cold and the ice will take a while to break up because there will be cold air over the land.”

Motorists have been warned of potentially hazardous driving conditions and travel disruptions caused by frost even as the worst of the snow subsides and roads are gritted. Temperature highs of four to seven degrees will prevail on Friday and the winds will ease as the day progresses.

“Saturday is a bit more uncertain at the moment. We have another band of rain from the Atlantic that could turn wintry,” Creagh said. “It doesn’t look that wintry [as Thursday] but there will still be isolated excitement on Saturday.”

The crisis management team of the National Directorate of Fire and Emergency Management will meet for the third time this morning to assess the situation, after a second time yesterday. Composed of local authorities, key emergency organizations, key government departments and other organizations, the team provided general advice and enacted safety measures, including street sweeping, while emergency services remained on standby overnight.

Cold weather precautions were also put in place across the country to ensure there was no reason for rough sleeping. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said emergency beds were temporarily available for the duration of the weather alert from their NGO partners.

Temperatures in Ireland were expected to drop as low as minus four overnight while the UK Met Office had similar severe weather warnings for Northern Ireland through Friday afternoon.

Extremes were evident yesterday morning as counties Limerick and Clare were blanketed in thick snow, prompting some school closures. The worst overnight weather was expected in the North Midlands, Connacht and Ulster.

A woman was rescued from a snowy Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain, in treacherous conditions in Co Kerry early yesterday morning in the Hags Glen area. Kerry Mountain Rescue, who responded, described the mountain conditions as extremely challenging. Conditions set to improve after heavy snowfall in parts of the country – The Irish Times

Dais Johnston

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