Met Éireann not dreaming of a White Christmas

A week of ‘very disturbed’ weather and stormy conditions likely

Stormy weather at Howth harbour in Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Stormy weather at Howth harbour in Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times


The annual assault on Met Éireann’s switchboard by journalists eager to run ‘White Christmas’ headlines has begun.

Unfortunately for the media, the national weather forecaster can indeed confirm that most of us are unlikely to awake to a soft, Christmassy blanket of snow on our lawns next Wednesday. At best, we can expect a frosty start and a bright, cold day with some showers.

We can look forward to “very disturbed” weather throughout the week with falls of sleet and snow likely in parts of the country this Sunday.

Met Éireann meteorologist John Eagleton said he didn’t envisage the snowy conditions that caused disruption to communications and transport two years ago.

“There will be episodes of colder maritime airs over Ireland and these could give us a few wintry showers,” he said.

Today, the forecaster has issued an orange weather alert for the entire country. with gusts of up to 120km/h. Some flooding is likely especially in coastal areas due to heavy rain and high seas.

Saturday night would possibly bring some such showers in the west. Tuesday night into Christmas morning would also bring more wintry showers.

Mr Eagleton said there would no doubt be some snow in the hills in parts of Donegal, but nothing major.

Temperatures had been up and down in recent days and this was likely to remain the case next week, Mr Eagleton added.

Met Éireann forecasts “very disturbed” weather through next week with some extremely windy or stormy periods likely.

It will be cold on Saturday evening and overnight with further showers, mostly in southwestern, western and northern counties, some turning wintry in places overnight, the forecaster said on its website

A sharp frost will develop with icy stretches on untreated surfaces and overnight lows of around zero.

Sunday will also be very cold with blustery westerly winds and occasional wintry showers.

Falls of sleet and snow are likely - especially in the west and north of the country, Met Éireann said.

While it will be cold and frosty for a time on Sunday night, temperatures will rise overnight as more heavy rain and strong winds spread countrywide by Monday morning.

Monday will be “potentially stormy”, with heavy rain and gale force southerly winds giving way to colder showery conditions with gale force southwest winds. These may cause some structural damage in places, Met Éireann warned.

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, will be cold, very windy and showery.

A frosty start to Christmas morning is expected and the day will be cold and bright with some showers especially in the south and west.

St Stephen’s Day will be milder, but wet and extremely windy or stormy.

Meanwhile, AA Roadwatch urged motorists to avoid the Sally Gap in Wicklow as it remained impassable until further notice due to icy road conditions.

Racing will take place in Dundalk tonight with the first race at 5.45pm and the last at 9.15pm. Extra traffic should be expected in the area.

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