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Motorists urged to take added care after overnight snow and ice – The Irish Times


The worst of the icy conditions of recent days should clear Ireland by Friday afternoon but forecasters have warned of uncertain conditions for the weekend.

A status orange snow and ice warning for Dublin and Wicklow remained in place on Friday morning, with Met Éireann warning of further falls of sleet and snow for a time on Friday, with accumulations in places and icy conditions.

Motorists were advised to take extra care due to hazardous road conditions and some disruption to public transport is expected. Commuters are advised to check with transport operators.

A status yellow ice warning for all of Ireland remains in place until noon, with a widespread frost and icy surfaces in places.

Another orange weather warning was issued by Met Éireann on Thursday covering nine counties in the north and northwest of the country until midnight on Thursday.

“It will clear up fairly well for Friday,” said Met Éireann meteorologist Brandon Creagh. “It will still be fairly cold around, with ice taking a little while to clear because there will be cold air over the country.

“Saturday is a bit more uncertain at the moment. We have another band of rain approaching from the Atlantic, which could turn wintry,” Creagh said. “It doesn’t look quite as wintry [as Thursday] but there will still be isolated flurries around on Saturday.”

The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management Crisis Management Team is due to meet for a third time on Friday morning to assess the situation, following a second meeting on Thursday. The team comprises local authorities, principal emergency response agencies, key government departments and other organisations, and it issued general advice and enacted safety measures including road gritting while emergency services were left on standby overnight.

Cold weather arrangements were also in place throughout the country to ensure there was no need for rough sleeping. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said temporary contingency beds were available for the duration of the weather alert by its NGO partners.

Motorists have been warned of potentially dangerous driving conditions and travel disruption brought on by frost, even as the worst of the snow subsides and roads are gritted. Friday will see temperature highs of four to seven degrees and winds will ease as the day progresses.

Temperatures in Ireland were expected to dip to as much as minus four overnight, while the UK Met Office had similar severe weather warnings in place for Northern Ireland running into Friday afternoon.

Extremes became apparent early on Thursday when counties Limerick and Clare were carpeted with thick snow resulting in some school closures. The worst of the weather overnight was expected in the north midlands, Connacht and Ulster.

In Co Kerry, a woman was rescued from a snowbound Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain, in treacherous conditions early yesterday morning in the Hags Glen area. Kerry Mountain Rescue, which responded, described conditions on the mountains as extremely challenging.

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