Severe weather: preparing for the worst

Elderly people are at risk in their homes because of low temperatures

The National Emergency Coordination Group for Severe Weather has been meeting as the country braces for one of its coldest weeks in years. The weather system is expected to bring freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

Polar winds from Central Europe will clash with moisture-laden clouds from the Bay of Biscay, later this week, to give Ireland heavy falls of snow. Unlike earlier severe weather events, this time adequate warning has been given and official agencies and members of the public are in a position to prepare for it. The most important contribution that citizens can make is to follow advice provided by the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECP).

Ireland experiences a severe snow event every few decades and, because it is so unusual, it can prove challenging or even fatal. This time, adequate warning has been provided

In spite of significant advances, weather forecasting remains an uncertain business. Met Éireann has been reluctant to predict blizzard conditions while, at the same time, it cannot underestimate that threat because of the possible impact on transport, public services and life itself. The role of coordinator for severe weather has fallen to the NECP. It will direct official and voluntary bodies while providing advice on appropriate behaviour to members of the public.

UK Met Office explains 'The beast from the east'

The east coast is likely to experience the heaviest snowfalls, setting in from Tuesday evening and continuing, intermittently, for much of the week. Civic-minded action, such as clearing footpaths of snow, would help neighbours. Elderly people are at risk in their homes because of low temperatures. Apart from hazardous driving and walking conditions, farmers caring for their animals are vulnerable.

Temperatures may fall by 10 degrees below normal with significant wind chill and severe frosts threatening domestic water supplies. Preparations are also underway to provide emergency accommodation and hot food for people who are sleeping rough. The situation regarding possible school closures is being monitored and gritting crews are on standby to treat city streets and public roads. The threat of power outages is under review.

Ireland experiences a severe snow event every few decades and, because it is so unusual, it can prove challenging or even fatal. This time, adequate warning has been provided and its potential dangers can be minimised by good planning and public cooperation.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.