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Ireland in the grip of heavy snow

Dublin: Heavy snow has gripped Ireland. Rain, sleet, and snow began in Cork, Waterford, Mayo, and Donegal counties and are moving across the country. Because of the significant snow, the Met Office has indicated that the previously declared yellow signal may be upgraded to orange. The snow alert is now in effect from 3 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Thursday.

Some areas are impassable due to snow. There is more than ten centimetres of snow. Schools in these areas are under threat of closing. Vehicular traffic is also at risk as the roads are covered with snow. Increasing easterly winds are also a source of worry.

The departments of housing and local government warned residents to be cautious of the heavy snowfall. Everyone on the road should be aware of the hazardous driving conditions. Drivers should proceed with utmost caution. The government has also asked pedestrians to be cautious since there is a risk of slipping on the roads and walkways.

Yesterday, the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management’s (NDFEM) Crisis Management Team met online to examine the situation. Housing, local government, heritage, Met, local authorities, and other important ministries were also involved. The team met this morning as well.

Meteorologist Gerry Murphy said three to 10 centimetres of snow is possible in the coming days. As a result, an orange alert is quite possible.

The yellow alert in Cavan and Monaghan counties has been extended until 7 a.m. on Friday. A yellow alert has also been issued for the whole country from 9 p.m. tonight until 10 a.m. Friday. The government has clarified that schools can decide locally whether to open schools if there is a situation where school buses cannot run. The government said that there is no need to wait for the red alert to be announced.

The Dublin Airport Authority has announced the appointment of expert crews to assist with snow removal at the airport. However, because of the rain that fell the day before, there has been no major snowfall in the Dublin region. This weekend is expected to be busy due to the rugby match at Scotland on Sunday and the influx of travellers for St. Patrick’s Day. A DAA spokesperson said passengers should contact the airline to find out about their flight.

Mr. Murphy stated that Castlederg in County Tyrone had the lowest temperature in Northern Ireland since 2010. The air over the country is already very cold. Another weather system is approaching from the south. That, combined with cold air, will lead to rain, sleet, and snow. Between 6 and 8 a.m. today morning, heavy snow is forecast in southern Munster, South Leinster, and South Connacht. Murphy said the snow is likely to be heavier in the higher elevations.

At the same time, the UK Met Office said bus, rail, and air travel could be disrupted or cancelled. Scotland has also been issued a snow warning until 6 p.m. on Friday. Aer Lingus said there would be no disruption to flight services.

Watch: Snowy scenes across Ireland as cold snap sweeps in: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=722914912655436

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