Snow set to return while water restrictions continue


SNOWFALLS AND cold weather are due to return from tomorrow night but temperatures are not expected to reach the same lows of recent weeks, according to Met Éireann.

Met Éireann forecaster Joan Blackburn said Ulster, Connacht and west Munster would be worst affected by snow showers driven by a band of very cold northeasterly winds.

“Initially we think it’s those areas that will be most at risk but that’s not to rule out some getting across to the east,” she said.

The beginning of the cold spell will see daytime temperatures from Friday dropping to between 0 and 3 degrees with night-time lows of minus 6 degrees on Saturday night.

Sunday night is expected to be milder, with lows of between minus 1 and minus 3 degrees due to cloud cover.

Indications suggest that by late Sunday night and early Monday, the snowfalls will shift more to eastern parts of the country.

Ms Blackburn said falls of between 5cm and 10cm were possible in the east of the country on Monday.

The British Met Office has also issued weather warnings for Northern Ireland, Scotland and the north of England for the early hours of Thursday morning.

It said a band of rain and snow would move southwards with widespread icy surfaces rapidly developing – potentially around the morning rush-hour period – followed by heavy snow showers.

Over the weekend, widespread ice and severe overnight frosts are likely in most parts of the UK with significant accumulations of snow in places.

The British Met Office expects the unsettled and wintry weather to continue towards the Christmas weekend. As a result, bookies have slashed the price of a white Christmas, with Paddy Power quoting odds of 9/4 for Dublin, 2/1 for Belfast and 11/8 for London.

Meanwhile, restrictions to water supplies in Dublin and surrounding counties are to continue until at least next Saturday morning.

Brian McKeown of Dublin City Council said that while the situation was regrettable, the restrictions had only “halted” the slide in water storage.

He said breaks in pipes due to the freezing temperatures and consumers running taps had caused an increase in demand of 30-40 million litres of water per day.

“If we reduce the hours of the restrictions, then our treated water storage will continue to drop and when our reservoirs empty we’ll have no water then to give to anybody,” he said.