chill factor | 

Wintry showers, thunder, hail, snow and sleet expected as temperatures plunge to -3C

Members of the public have been urged to proceed with caution as they venture out this morning

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Paul HylandSunday World

Met Éireann said today will be “chilly” with a mix of sunny spells and wintry showers, “falling as snow”, while “thunder and hail” is also expected in places.

Members of the public have been urged to proceed with caution as they venture out this morning, as low temperatures have created icy condition, particularly on minor roads.

Garda in Co Donegal worked with local farmers to clear snow-blocked roads in Buncrana yesterday evening.

Heavy snow was also reported in parts of Co Kerry since yesterday afternoon. The snowfall was particularly severe on higher ground, leading to treacherous conditions on routes including the Conor Pass near Dingle.

Met Éireann meteorologist Gerry Murphy said overnight temperatures dropped as low as “-6C or -7C” in parts of the midlands, while all weather stations are showing temperatures “below 0C” this morning.

"There was some snow yesterday evening and last night in parts Kerry, a little bit of West Cork and also up in the north – in Donegal and in northern counties,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“They’ll [temperatures] creep above zero, in between 1C and 4C, so frost will tend to linger [Today], depending on the area. Certainly in sheltered areas, the frost and ice will tend to linger all day in places.

"Overall a very cold day which means that any of the showers that occur, which would initially be in the west and north, they'll fall really as rain and sleet, but sleet and snow [is] possible, especially on high ground and then the showers drifting down a bit further as we go through the day.

"Mainly though affecting Ulster, Connacht, West Munster and some of them drifting into Leinster. Eastern and southern counties will stay largely dry as we go through the day.”

"So, the message is take great care on the roads as we go through the day because the frost will be very slow to clear and there are places that won’t clear at all.

" As we go through the evening, once we go into the hours of darkness, the temperatures will drop once more, which means some of those showers may fall increasingly as sleet or snow in places, especially over the northern half of the country… Tonight won’t be quite as cold as it is at present, but nonetheless, it will still be cold enough for a widespread frost,” he added.

Mr Murphy said the current cold spell, which is being caused by an artic airflow, is expected to continue until Friday and it will be “very cold” tomorrow night again, with further wintry showers expected over the coming days.

In comparison to the cold snap before Christmas, Mr Murphy said it’s not as “cold and dry” this time, but there is “more moisture” which is creating the wintry showers.

Met Éireann’s nationwide Status Yellow low temperature and ice warning is in place until midday today, while it’s winter weather advisory is active until Thursday afternoon.

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