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Drivers warned to slow down as cold snap bites over the weekend

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A misty Lough Tay in the Dublin Mountains as the cold snap set in yesterday afternoon

A misty Lough Tay in the Dublin Mountains as the cold snap set in yesterday afternoon

Colin Keegan

A misty Lough Tay in the Dublin Mountains as the cold snap set in yesterday afternoon

Wintry weather has arrived in force with snow, ice, wind and showers all forecast for this weekend.

Met Éireann said that a widespread frost began yesterday with some icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

AA Roadwatch has urged motorists to take care saying "wintry showers can affect visibility and mean a sudden change to road conditions".

Brake

"Slow down if driving and allow yourself more room to brake, as it can take up to 10 times longer to stop a vehicle on icy roads.

"Allow extra time in the morning to fully de-ice your vehicle before setting out."

It comes as Met Éireann issued status yellow warning alerts for snow, ice and wind in Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.

A status yellow wind warning was also put in place yesterday for Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.

According to Met Éireann, this colder weather first began on Tuesday with the arrival of a cold polar maritime air mass sweeping across the country.

"Daytime temperatures will be in low single figures and night-time temperatures will be around zero or lower at times," a forecaster told the Herald.

"Most of the showers will be of rain and hail but some will turn wintry, particularly over high ground with some snowfall likely."

The change in weather is being caused by a polar jetstream growing over the North Atlantic, which is helping to block the high pressure system.

Snowfall

"However, as this cold air moves over the relatively warm seas of the North Atlantic, the depth of cold will be modified resulting in a wintry mix with snowfall mainly restricted to high ground.

"But some snowfall on lower levels will be possible at times later this week."

Saturday will bring further scattered showers to coastal areas, and highest temperatures will reach 5C to 8C with an added chill factor.

Sunday should, however, be a largely dry day with light variable breezes.


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