White Christmas could be on the cards as temperatures drop

White Christmas could be on the cards as temperatures drop

Aryelith and Ricardo from Leopardstown enjoy some sledding at a park in Sandyford on Friday, following heavy overnight snowfall. Picture: Damien Storan

A White Christmas could be on the cards to lift spirits at the end of the year, as temperatures drop just in time for Santa’s sleigh to get a smooth run this year. Polar conditions are predicted to cover the entire country well into next week with bookies now slashing the odds for snow on Christmas Day.

Cork County Council has urged motorists to “exercise extreme caution” when travelling in this weather. They made no comment in relation to flying sleighs, however.

Carlow-based weather expert Alan O’Reilly is optimistic for a snowy holiday.

“Beyond December 18 there’s a lot of uncertainty, there’s at least a brief milder spell but the cold could return,” he said.

Met Éireann’s Aoife Kealy said: “It’s too early to say” but cautioned about persisting cold.

“The cold snap is looking like lasting until next Wednesday at least. It’s a little uncertain after that.

“The current indications point to it persisting. It will be nationwide. Temperatures will struggle to get above freezing during the day and will dip to well below freezing by night.”

Snow and freezing fog create a wintry scene on this estate near Newbridge, Co Kildare. Picture: Eamonn Farrell/Rolling News
Snow and freezing fog create a wintry scene on this estate near Newbridge, Co Kildare. Picture: Eamonn Farrell/Rolling News

However, while social media is awash with pretty pictures of snow and ice-covered landscapes, the weather experts warned it is black ice and freezing fog that people really need to watch out for this week.

Alone and Age Action Ireland have urged older people in particular to be extra careful on treacherous footpaths and asked the public to be vigilant of older people in their community.

The arctic airmass frozen over Ireland has brought freezing fog and ice with it, causing potentially hazardous driving and walking conditions, according to Met Éireann.

Several status yellow snow, low temperature, freezing fog and ice warnings have been in effect in recent days and will continue tonight.

A status orange low temperature and ice warning is to come into effect tomorrow afternoon for all of Ireland, bringing "severe frost and icy stretches".

The warning, which was published this afternoon by Met Eireann, warns of patches of freezing fog also.

It comes into effect at 5pm tomorrow and will be in place until midday Monday, with temperatures likely to fall below -5C in many areas.

Local councils gritted roads around the country.

Katie North, who was holidaying in Killarney, took a dip amid the freezing temperatures at Castlelough on the shores of Lough Lein in Killarney National Park. Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan
Katie North, who was holidaying in Killarney, took a dip amid the freezing temperatures at Castlelough on the shores of Lough Lein in Killarney National Park. Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

People attending the festive market in Emmett Place, Cork City, today are advised to wrap up warmly, with Met Éireann predicting it will be “very cold over the weekend, with temperatures struggling to get above freezing”.

Further flurries of photographs tagged with the hashtag #sneachta can also be expected on social media platforms.

Already yesterday the icy conditions at Dublin Airport caused delays and a small number of cancellations of Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights.

The runways and taxiways stayed open, said a spokesperson for Dublin Airport operators DAA.

It was also found difficult to de-ice aircraft in the early morning frost, the DAA said.

• Met Éireann advises that up to date information on dealing with this cold snap can be found on the WinterReady.ie website. 

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