Countrywide snow and ice warning extended until Sunday
Frost on untreated surfaces to return on Saturday night as temperatures dip again
Snow, ice and severe frost is expected in many parts of the country until Sunday afternoon, as Met Éireann extends its countrywide weather warning.
An updated status yellow alert, now in place until midday on Sunday, warns of frost and ice on untreated surfaces on Saturday morning, with some snow showers expected in northern and northwestern areas during the day.
AA Roadwatch advised motorists to take on secondary and local routes, and on higher ground.
“Remember it takes up to ten times longer to stop on an icy road. In affected areas, slow down, keep further back from the vehicle in front and keep all manoeuvres gentle,” it said.
Most areas will be dry on Saturday with the exception of parts of the west and southwest, which could see wintry showers turn to rain. Patches of frost and ice clear through the morning, with highest temperatures of 2 to 6 degrees.
Frosty conditions are due to return early on Saturday night to midland and eastern areas as temperatures fall to -2 or -3 degrees. Western an southwestern areas should be warmer, at 1 or 2 degrees. Some sleet and snow on higher ground is expected.
Sunday morning will be cloudy and breezy with rain, sleet and snow on northern high ground. While dry spells over the midlands and north are predicted during the day, Munster and south Leinster will see rain. The afternoon will be warmer, at 5 to 9 degrees.
Sunday night will see widespread rain with some hill snow in parts of Ulster and Met Éireann forecasts an unsettled week ahead.
“I wouldn’t say milder, I would say less cold,” said Met Éireann forecaster Liz Gavin on Friday, speaking about the coming days. “The risk of snow and sleet is diminished, but not completely diminished. It will be changeable and unsettled. There is still a risk of frost and maybe some ice patches at night.”
The lowest temperature of the winter so far was recorded at Dublin Airport on January 31st with a low of -5.8 degrees.
Ireland missed much of the very bad weather which has affected Britain over the last week.
The big freeze will continue over the weekend in the UK, with the Met Office warning of the coldest night of the winter as snow caused further transport disruption.
Scotland could see lows of -16 over Saturday night into Sunday as the cold snap continues, the Met Office said.
A low of -15.4 degrees was recorded just before midnight on Thursday at Braemar in the Scottish Highlands.
On Friday, a dump of up to 14cm of snow caused havoc in the South West, forcing motorists to abandon their cars and seek shelter as traffic stood still. By Friday evening, RAF Odiham in Hampshire had recorded 19cm of snow.
Travellers were hit by long delays and schools closed their doors as February began with the coldest night for seven years.–Additional reporting: PA