Sleet and snow forecast for north and west
Temperatures to remain below normal into next week
Tourists enjoying the latest snowfall, at Luggala, Co Wicklow last Tuesday. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.
Met Éireann has issued a weather warning for parts of north and west Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal for the coming days, with blizzards expected and snow drifts on high ground and possibly at lower levels.
A mix of snow, sleet and rain has been forecast in lower lying areas of the northwest counties and temperatures are not likely to rise above 6 degrees. Easterly winds will make it feel even colder as they increase to strong and gusty, with near gale force winds on coasts.
And while temperatures may rise as high as 11 degrees in the far south west, winds will be strong and gusty everywhere.
Tomorrow is expected to be bitterly cold and windy, with rain, sleet and snow in some parts of the country. The sleet and snow will be mainly confined to Ulster where temperatures will be close to freezing in a strong southeast wind.
Saturday will stay cold with further spells of sleet and snow in Ulster. South Leinster and South Munster may also see a little rain but the rest of the country should be dry, with Kerry possibly reaching temperatures of up to 11 degrees.
Sunday is also likely to be cold, though it should be dry in most areas. Temperatures will remain below normal for the time of year. The cold spell will continue into the coming week with sub-zero night-time temperatures.
Met Éireann’s new weather warning system has flagged Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal as “orange”, meaning conditions have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas. An orange warning also means people in the affected areas should prepare themselves appropriately.
A yellow warning has been issued for Munster and Leinster. This means those at risk locally can take “preventative action”, but conditions do not pose an immediate threat to the general population.
The red alert, which has not been issued today, warns of severe, comparatively rare, weather conditions which would require people to protect themselves and or their properties or leave the areas affected.
The new warning system has been introduced following developments in meteorology internationally and in emergency response systems at in Ireland. The system is now in line with Europe an best practice and with MeteoAlarm, a Europe -wide weather alert system.