Temperatures continue to tumble

Tue, Jan 22, 2013, 00:00

The bitterly cold weather is set to continue until Friday, with the possibility of widespread snow and sleet today.

More snow is anticipated in many parts of the country following what was expected to be the coldest night of the winter. Temperatures in midland areas got down as low as minus six last night and snow was forecast for parts of Munster and the northeast.

Tonight will see further wintry showers in eastern coastal counties, with snow likely to settle inland on higher ground in these areas. Elsewhere it will be dry, with breaks in cloud allowing sharp-to-severe ground frost to develop, along with ice on untreated surfaces.

Wintry showers forecast

With cold weather and wintry showers forecast by Met Éireann for the next few days, Alone, a charity that supports older people in need, is urging the public to check on their older neighbours, family and friends who live alone. A similar call has been issued by Macra na Feirme.

Both tomorrow and Thursday are forecast to be dry but bitterly cold, with sub-zero temperatures at night.

Kerry and Cork were worst affected by snow overnight on Monday with some 15cm (six inches) falling on the Conor Pass in Dingle. The N71 Molls Gap Road was closed between Killarney and Kenmare due to ice.

A cool start yesterday meant a busy start to the week for AA Patrols. The organisation said it had already attended its average daily workload by lunchtime.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has seen an escalation in calls from the public reporting starving horses and donkeys abandoned in the Dublin area and is now providing emergency feeding to those horses.

Conditions are worse in Britain, with temperatures dropping to minus 10 tonight. Some 5,000 schools across the country were closed yesterday.

More than 200 flights were cancelled at Heathrow Airport, while other airports, including Gatwick and Birmingham, also experienced disruption.

Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate accused Heathrow of being unable to come with terms with normal winter weather. He wrote to the British transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, stating that Heathrow should declare a reduced capacity in the winter months with extra flights moving to Gatwick and Stansted.

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said the recent cold weather had given him an “open mind” about whether or not man-made global warming was really happening.

In his Daily Telegraph column, he said he supported cutting CO2 emissions, but there was a possibility the world was entering a mini-ice age.