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Winter Weather

Cold snap sees coldest day since 2010 as ice warning remains in place across the country

A status yellow low temperature/ice warning is in place for the entire country.

LAST UPDATE | 13 Dec 2022

A STATUS YELLOW low temperature and ice warning remains will remain in place for the entire country until the weekend, with a Status Yellow freezing fog warning also in place for 13 counties. 

Met Éireann has advised that temperatures will remain very low for the rest of the week, bringing a range of wintry hazards including severe frost, ice, and some wintry showers.

The forecaster added that at its weather station in Ballyhaise, Co Cavan the temperature never rose above -3.1 degrees C. 

Today is again set to be very cold, with temperatures to fall between -1 and +4 degrees, before becoming “bitterly cold” tonight and dropping to between -7 and -1 degrees tonight, causing widespread frost and ice. 

The cold is to cause hazardous driving conditions across the country today and anyone travelling is advised to exercise caution. 

A freezing fog warning is in place this morning until 10 am in Connacht, Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly and Westmeath. 

Anyone travelling in these counties this morning needs to be aware of potentially hazardous conditions. This is the case across the rest of the country too as a status yellow low temperature/ ice warning is in place all week.

Sharp to severe frosts, icy stretches, showers of hail, sleet and snow will occur according to Met Éireann, and there is a possibility of freezing fog in other areas too. 

The weather service warns of the following possible impacts: 

  • Treacherous conditions on paths and roads
  • Travel disruption
  • Potential supply disruption
  • Potential for burst water pipes and damage to engines
  • Increased risks to vulnerable members of the community
  • Animal welfare issues
  • Slack winds over land leading to reduced wind power generation

Generally it is expected to be dry today with brighter conditions in the northern half of the country. Tomorrow is forecasted to be cold and dry with “crisp winter sunshine.” 

Due to the current weather conditions Irish Water is urging the public to conserve water, take simple steps to reduce excessive use, and not to leave taps running

Anyone living in or travelling through Northern Ireland should be aware that the UK Met Office has issued a weather warning for all counties as there will be patches of freezing fog, and patchy ice on untreated surfaces that may cause difficult travel conditions. 

The warning is valid until 10am this morning. 

Water safety

Water Safety Ireland (WSI) is advising people to stay away from ice and frozen waterways during the cold period. 

It said the thickness of ice can vary from place to place and there is a “very real risk” of the ice breaking.

This comes after three boys aged eight, 10 and 11 died yesterday after being pulled from an icy lake in Solihull near Birmingham in England. 

“Children require constant uninterrupted adult supervision as they may be tempted to venture onto ice. We are advising parents and guardians to be away of their children’s whereabouts over the next few days to make sure they do not fall through ice. Keep children away from the water’s edge,” WSI said. 

If you see someone has fallen through the ice, the safest way to perform a rescue is from the shore. Use your mobile phone to call 112 and ask for emergency services. 

“Give your precise location, the number of people in difficulty and any conspicuous building to landmark nearby to assist a helicopter locate you,” it said. 

“Check if you can reach the person from the shore using a ringbuoy and rope, long pole, items of clothing or a branch of a tree – if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person. Instruct the casualty to keep still to maintain their heat and energy.” 

In a joint statement, the Irish Coast Guard, the RNLI and WSI noted that many people are expected to take part in festive dips over the coming weeks. 

The three organisations are asking people to check that they have the right information to safely enjoy these activities and that they know what to do in the event of an emergency. 

They advise: 

  • In an emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
  • Have a means of calling for help, eg. a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch and a whistle.
  • Check weather and tides. Be particularly mindful of strong wind conditions.
  • When you go open water swimming, it is very important to acclimatise by entering the water slowly and allowing time for your body to get used to the cold.
  • To help yourself acclimatise, splash the cold water on your neck and face.
  • Warm up afterwards by putting on dry clothes quickly and wear a warm hat as soon as you get out.
  • Entry and exit points may be difficult in the sub-zero conditions so walk slowly to avoid slipping.
  • Avoid swimming in areas where there is ice.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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