Blizzard-like weather to get worse before it gets better

Thursday to bring heavy snowfall as an Atlantic storm meets frigid air

Snow clearing at Bracetown Business Park in Dunboyne, Co Meath during the snowfall associated with  The Beast from the East. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Snow clearing at Bracetown Business Park in Dunboyne, Co Meath during the snowfall associated with The Beast from the East. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

The weather is set to get worse before it gets better with blizzard-like conditions giving way on Sunday to milder weather.

Heavy snowfall will continue across the eastern half of the county on Wednesday and will remain on the ground because of temperatures which will hover around zero in most places.

The highest weather alert, a status red warning, has been issued for counties Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath. Status red warnings means the public should take steps to ensure their safety.

Status orange warnings have been issued for counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath Cork, Tipperary and Waterford and a status yellow warning for the rest of the country because of the low temperatures.

There will be little change on Wednesday evening or overnight with the snow showers continuing to accumulate on the ground. This will be accompanied by a severe frost with lowest temperatures of minus 3 to minus 6 degrees and gusty easterly winds.

The worst day of the cold snap will be Thursday when Storm Emma from the Bay of Biscay meets the frigid air from Siberia dumping large accumulations of snow across the southern half of the country.

Temperatures will drop further to minus 1 in most places during the day on Thursday and fall at night to minus 7 degrees.

Blizzard

There is a chance of blizzard-like conditions with strong easterly winds driving the snow into drifts.

There will be a north-south split on Friday with southern counties seeing a slight rise in temperatures to between 4 and 6 degrees, but in the north the low temperatures will continue with a fierce easterly wind persisting.

Saturday is forecast to be a dry day, but outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow will affect southern and eastern coastal counties during the afternoon and evening. There will be highs of 1 to 3 degrees and moderate southeasterly winds.

Temperatures look set to rise to between 4 and 9 degrees on Sunday with rain replacing the snow of recent days. There will also be strong southeasterly winds which will make it feel colder than it actually is.

Met Éireann does not forecast beyond five days, but the UK Met Office is predicting that the cold weather will persist in northern areas of Britain well into next week with sub-zero temperatures at night.