Four weather warnings are in place across the country as Storm Fionn approaches.
It’s very cold in most places today with wintry showers and strong winds.
A status orange wind warning has come into effect for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork and Kerry, with gusts of up to 120kph due and a risk of coastal flooding.
A status yellow wind warning is in place for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford, with gusts expected up to 110kph.
A yellow snow-ice warning is in effect for Ireland with temperatures expected to drop to minus one tonight. One to three centimetres of snow is anticipated, most especially in Ulster, Connacht and north Leinster with higher accumulations on hills and mountains.
A status yellow warning is also in place for high seas along Atlantic Seaboard over the next few days, leading to an increased risk of coastal flooding in Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.
“The weather is very disturbed at the moment,” said Pat Clarke, a forecaster with Met Éireann.
“It’s also very cold across the country with the winds coming from the North Atlantic, so very strong winds across the country.
“On top of that, we also have wintery showers. We’ve had hail showers, sleet showers and snow showers over the last 12 or 18 hours.
“We’ll continue to have further wintery showers overnight tonight.”
In response to the weather warnings, ALONE and Dublin City Council are asking people to check in with the older and vulnerable members of their communities to ensure they have fuel, food, water and are in good communication with family, friends and neighbours.
Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha, speaking at the Cold Weather Initiative launch in December, said, the winter months can be a difficult time for many people who are vulnerable, alone and isolated.
"It can be a very frightening experience to be without shelter, warmth, food or essential items such as medication. We are appealing to all Dubliners to look out for the older people in your community who may live alone, have no family or may be at risk of suffering from fuel poverty, illness or loneliness. This campaign represents the community and the whole city working together.”
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE went on to say cold temperatures can have a serious affect on many older people, in particular those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.
"5% of Irish people aged over 65 who lived alone were unable to keep their homes adequately warm in 2012. This figure jumped to 9.8% in 2013. Given that 50% of Excess Winter Deaths (EWDs) experienced in Ireland can be linked to poor thermal efficiency in the dwellings, ALONE is urging older people to take extra care and encouraging those who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the cold weather to call for assistance and help if needed.”
ALONE are also encouraging older people to prioritise their spending on heating during the winter months.
For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or visit www.alone.ie.
- Digital Desk