No let-up in weather as storm set to roll in

Pedestrians get caught in a snow shower in Cork City centre late yesterday afternoon. Picture: Billy MacGill

The cold snap which saw heavy snowfall in many counties this week is to continue until at least tomorrow, with a storm set to develop along the west coast this afternoon.

More wintery conditions such as snow and ice are forecast for later this week, with severe frost expected over the weekend.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has urged drivers to take extreme care and to check weather forecasts before travelling.

Met Éireann has issued multiple weather warnings across the country, with Co Clare expected to receive the brunt of the incoming storm.

Wind gusts of up to 130km/hr are expected, along with periods of significant rainfall, and Clare County Council has advised road users not to drive on exposed coastal roads.

A Status Orange wind warning is in place for counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Waterford, Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.

There is also a Status Orange snow-ice alert for counties in the West, while a Status Yellow warning for snow and ice is in place for the rest of the country.

Yesterday, the first heavy snow began to fall in many areas, with parts of Sligo and Donegal among the worst affected by poor road conditions and school closures.

More snow showers and heavy rain are expected in Donegal over the next two days, with the County Council urging drivers to take care on the roads and allow extra time for journeys.

Snow also fell in parts of Cork, Kerry, Galway, Meath, Westmeath, Roscommon, Mayo and Dublin.

The ESB reported lightning across the country was responsible for power shortages, with outages in Bandon and Ballydehob, Co Cork.

No let-up in weather as storm set to roll in

A beautiful snow scene between Anglesborough and Mitchelstown. Picture: Denis Minihane

Age Action is warning that cold weather can and does kill in Ireland, as well as posing problems for the elderly who could find it difficult to go out to buy groceries, fuel or medical supplies.

The charity’s spokesman encouraged people to check in on vulnerable neighbours.

Meanwhile, an AA online poll of almost 10,000 people said the majority of female motorists in Ireland (90%) feel more anxiety while driving in icy conditions. In comparison, only two thirds of men said the same.

Suggesting that heightened anxiety resulted in more cautious driving, more men (51%), than women (40%), said they had significantly lost control of their vehicle when negotiating icy roads.

Further demonstrating that female motorists tend to be more tentative than their male counterparts, 21% of females said they would avoid driving if possible when roads are particularly bad, compared to 11% of males.

The poll suggested 30% of those polled are very worried about driving on ice compared to 11% during fog and 6% during torrential rain. Most said it was the unpredictable behaviour of other motorists, rather than their own abilities, which made them uncomfortable.

The AA advises drivers to keep to main roads, which are more likely to be gritted, to clear snow from the headlights, use dipped lights, use gentle manoeuvres, and keep in mind stopping distances are up to ten times longer in ice and snow.

It also reminded road users to clear snow from the roof as it could fall onto the windscreen while driving, obscuring the view.

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