Freezing winter conditions expected to continue through the weekend

 

THE CURRENT cold spell, with daytime highs in single digits and sub-zero temperatures at night, is expected to last through the weekend, according to Met Éireann.

Further wintry showers will affect the north and west of the country today but the strong winds experienced over the past few days will slacken.

Outbreaks of rain or sleet are also likely to affect southern coastal counties by afternoon but the rest of the country should remain dry with daytime temperatures of 4 to 7 degrees.

It will be very cold overnight with temperatures dropping to -3 degrees. Rain moving in from the west will spread to other areas tomorrow, with some of the showers turning to sleet and snow and highest temperatures of 3 to 6 degrees.

The outlook for the weekend is similar with chilly northerly winds persisting and temperatures expected to fall as low as -4 degrees on Saturday night, bringing a widespread severe frost and icy patches.

Motorists are warned overnight frost has led to icy stretches on some roads this morning, making driving conditions hazardous.

Noel Brett of the Road Safety Authority has urged drivers to be cautions and to consider postponing journeys unless necessary.

He said road users needed to pay attention to “local weather and traffic reports, be extremely careful and heed any Garda messages in relation to travel”.

Mr Brett added: “We need to be prepared for these severe weather conditions of stormy winds, patches of ice and snow showers.”

He warned commuters to be vigilant for black ice, particularly in sheltered areas.

Meanwhile, Eircom says it is continuing to deal with a high number of faults on its network due to the recent stormy weather.

The company says it is dealing with more than 5,000 reported faults nationally, with the worst-affected areas along the west coast and parts of the northeast.

Eircom said its crews were working as “quickly as possible” to restore service to customers and will work through the weekend if needed.

In Co Kerry, a lightning strike yesterday left more than 1,000 homes and businesses without power. An ESB spokeswoman said repair crews had restored electricity to most of the premises around Kenmare and Cahirciveen. Last night, about 200 houses remained without power.

She added that the recent bad weather had not adversely affected the network.