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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 19 March, 2018

Status red warning for five Leinster counties extended until 9am

Snow will continue to fall until this evening and sleety showers are expected tomorrow.

The shelter warning has been lifted, but people are still being advised to avoid unnecessary journeys.
The shelter warning has been lifted, but people are still being advised to avoid unnecessary journeys.
Image: Leah Farrell/

Updated at 4pm

A STATUS RED snow-ice warning has been extended until 9am for Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath.

The snow-ice warning was issued at 3.45pm and will be valid from 4pm today until 9am tomorrow morning.

While the warning to stay inside has been lifted, authorities are advising that caution is still needed as many areas are being severely impacted by drifting snow.

The government has asked motorists not to drive today unless it is absolutely necessary.

In the latest update from the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG), Met Éireann’s Evelyn Cusack said it is unlikely there will be any significant thaw in the next 24 hours.

At the moment, temperatures have risen to between zero and one degree, but she said in order for a full thaw to take place, there would have to be a sudden temperature rise to between ten and 13 degrees.

It will, however, gradually become more sleety on footpaths and roads tonight and tomorrow, she said.

The current weather situation is:

  • A Status Red snow-ice warning has been extended until 9am for Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath.
  • A Status Orange warning is in place for the rest of the country.
  • There is a snow-ice warning in place for Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo.

The Status Red warning remains in place until 9am tomorrow morning for the five Leinster counties with snow predicted all throughout the day and temperatures to drop as low as -3 degrees tonight.

It is being emphasised that conditions are and will remain very difficult and dangerous. The public is being asked not to travel, to keep off the roads and to continue to exercise high levels of caution for their own safety in the extreme cold.

All public transport services are closed today and will remain so for the remainder of the day.

Airlines have also suspended operations until Saturday morning and all ferry sailings are cancelled today.

Today’s snow drifting is causing particular problems. Local roads will take a considerable period of time to pass through. The NECG has warned that some houses may be inaccessible.

ESB Networks is working to restore power after some significant outages last night.

Outlook for the weekend

Last night, Siobhan Ryan, meteorologist with Met Éireann, told RTÉ’s Prime Time that the forecaster is anticipating “further severe weather warnings coming into place over the course of the weekend”.

All services will continue to work at peak capacity and the public are asked for patience while works to restore services and clear transport routes are completed.

Ryan said it is likely that there may be orange or even red warnings over the weekend, depending on how the situation evolves.

We’ll be monitoring the situation extremely carefully. So as regards the really heavy snow, I would say there’ll probably be an end in sight to the really heavy snow, hopefully Saturday night. After that then it’s still a very cold regime, there’s a gradual edge up in temperatures. Problably more likely the cold weather we’ve become very used to in the past couple of weeks, but not the same cold we’ve experienced in the last number of days.

According to the weekend forecast, tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of sleet and chances of snowfalls over higher grounds and in the north. There will be fresh east winds and highest temperatures will range from 2 degrees in the north to 6 or 7 degrees in the far south.

Cold weather will continue Sunday with highest temperatures during only around 2 to 4 degrees. Some showery rain will affect more northern counties and there will be widespread frost overnight.

Advice in short

Overall, the key public safety messages from the NECG are:

  • Avoid any non-critical travel throughout the country. Many roads including national and regional roads remain impassable and unsafe for driving.
  • The public should assume all electricity lines will be live and to report all fallen lines to ESB Networks.
  • Take care while out walking in snow. Enjoy the snow but exercise caution and stay safe.
  • Keep away from rivers where levels can rise rapidly as snow begins to melt.
  • Remember emergency services will take longer to respond to call-outs due to the weather conditions.
  • Check in with elderly and vulnerable neighbours by phone.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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