Further snow expected as country braces for arrival of Storm Dennis
Strong winds rip part of roof off national school in Achill, Co Mayo
Sisters Aoibhe, Shona and Cara Heaney, from Rathfarnham, enjoying the snow in Killakee, Co Dublin, on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Further snowfall is expected early on Wednesday in parts of the country ahead of a further period of unsettled weather with the expected arrival of Storm Dennis to Ireland at the weekend.
Met Éireann issued a status yellow snow and ice warning for the entire country up to 10am on Wednesday with forecasts of scattered wintry showers nationwide with some heavy snowfall in parts, particularly the west and north.
“Some disruption to travel is possible, particularly over higher routes,” it warned.
Wednesday is expected to be another cold day with highest temperatures of 4- 8 degrees.
The remainder of the week will see the return of rain in advance of more stormy conditions as a result of Storm Dennis.
The storm is expected to bring further strong winds and heavy rain, although it is not predicted to be as strong as Storm Ciara, which affected Ireland and Britain over last weekend.
Several parts of the country experienced the first major falls of snow this winter on Tuesday. Roads around the Sally Gap in Co Wicklow were closed for a period due to heavy snowfalls, although on lower ground snow turned quickly to sleet and rain.
Due to weather conditions, some ferry crossings on the Irish Sea experienced delays of up to three hours on Tuesday night. AA Roadwatch has advised motorists that road conditions can change quite quickly in hail or snowfall.
“In any affected areas, it will take much longer to stop a vehicle, so slow down and avoid any harsh acceleration or braking,” it added.
Meanwhile, a school on Achill Island, Co Mayo, had part of its roof ripped off by strong winds on Tuesday. The incident happened at Dooagh National School, which caters for some 40 pupils, at about 9.30am. No one was injured when the flat roof was blown off.
Principal Irene Gielty said the roof was blown clean off the structure before landing on a nearby pitch.
AA Roadwatch received reports of slippery road conditions in Clare, Donegal and Kerry. Gardaí were advising all road users to avoid the Gap of Dunloe in Co Kerry until further notice as it was completely impassable due to snow.
Conditions were also poor in the Mullinavat area of Co Kilkenny, particularly on the M9.