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Snowploughs at the ready as big freeze to last for weekend

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Eoin Lalor Beirne (3) and his sister Aoibheann (6) have fun in the snow near their home in Kippure, Co Wicklow. Photo: Damien Eagers

Eoin Lalor Beirne (3) and his sister Aoibheann (6) have fun in the snow near their home in Kippure, Co Wicklow. Photo: Damien Eagers

Eoin Lalor Beirne (3) and his sister Aoibheann (6) have fun in the snow near their home in Kippure, Co Wicklow. Photo: Damien Eagers

Freezing conditions are setto continue for the next few days as much of the country endures a short, sharp blast of Arctic-influenced weather.

The snow and ice warning that was in place for the entire country overnight is expected to be lifted, but replaced by a cold-temperature alert.

Night-time readings will fall well below freezing, while daytime temperatures will not climb much beyond zero degrees.

There will be freezing fog in places and widespread frost and icy patches in the daywidespread.

A low of -4C was expectedforecast for last night, but that is expected to dip further tomorrow on Fridaynight.

The deep cold means any snowfalls can be expected to lie, particularly on high ground, and even light dustings are likely to make roads and paths treacherous.

Met Éireann meteorologist Aoife Healy said anyone out and aboutcarrying out essential duties in the coming days needs to take extra care.

“There’s a cold front moving across the country and the cloud is building up ahead of that, but it does clear up behind that and it becomes quite clear and bright,” she said.

“With the winter sun, however, if there is any snow lying, it can create a really powerful glare that makes visibility difficult – especially for drivers.”

Transport Infrastructure Ireland said all preparations were in place to grit the roads, and 200,000 tonnes of salt was available at regional depots with 360 gritting trucks and 327 snowploughs ready to deploy if needed.

“It’s an essential service so the restrictions won’t interfere with that,” said spokesman Sean O’Neill.

 


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