Threat of snow to remain into next week

Sat, Jan 19, 2013, 00:00

After yesterday’s blizzards Met Éireann said threats of snow would remain into next week for many parts of the country and travel disruption caused could spread.

A severe weather warning was in place last night as snow affected parts of Ulster and the east, with drifting in some places.

Parts of Antrim, Cavan, Dublin, Leitrim, Longford, Meath, Monaghan and Wicklow experienced snow, and heavy rain caused flooding in some areas including parts of Mayo, Roscommon and Wicklow.

Conditions were particularly bad on high ground around Roundwood, Laragh, Annamoe and Aughrim. The Wicklow Gap and Sally Gap were impassable.

In Dublin, heavy snow affected roads around Glencullen and Stepaside at the foot of the Dublin Mountains and The Old Military Road at The Lookout near Rathfarnham was also closed.

Dublin Bus routes 44b, 45a, 84, 184 and 185 in and around the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains were curtailed or diverted.

Dart services were affected twice yesterday, once in the morning when a tree fell onto the line at Dalkey due to high winds and again in the afternoon when flooding at Sandycove stopped Darts and intercity trains from travelling between Dún Laoghaire and Bray.

Knock-on effects

The PSNI advised motorists that driving conditions across the north were difficult.

Heavy snow and blizzards in parts of Britain had knock-on effects on flights to Ireland.

Aer Lingus was forced to cancel more than16 flights between Ireland and airports in London, Bournemouth, Bristol and Cardiff. Ryanair also cancelled some of its services.

The airlines urged passengers planning to travel over the next few days to check their flight details before leaving home.

Many sports fixtures in Britain were cancelled due to the severe weather, including soccer matches and horse racing, though last night the Exeter Chiefs v Leinster match was still due to go ahead.

Thousands of households were left without power there, nearly 2,000 schools closed and motorists were advised to avoid all but essential journeys.

Met Éireann forecaster Joan Blackburn said last night that the weather system that brought rain and heavy snow to some regions would still be over the country today and there was a possibility of further wintry showers. Frost and ice tonight could be accompanied by freezing fog and further showers of sleet and snow in the north and east on Sunday.

Continuing cold

A separate weather system coming up from the southwest on Sunday night could give rain, but depending on how far it moved up the country, could also give snow in some parts, Ms Blackburn said. Next week the weather would continue cold with the risk of snow in some places.

The Department of Transport also issued a warning last night saying severe weather conditions could affect national roads, bus, rail and other transport services.

The Road Safety Authority said road users should be extra vigilant on the roads. It advised them to check their local weather forecast before making any journeys.

“While driving in these hazardous conditions it’s important to allow extra time to complete your journey,” the authority said. “Slow down and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front to allow for extra braking distance.”