herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Temperatures to dip as low as -3C as big freeze hits

The Road Safety Authority has cautioned motorists to expect the unexpected with high winds and icy conditions.
The Road Safety Authority has cautioned motorists to expect the unexpected with high winds and icy conditions.

Strong winds today will be followed by very cold weather tonight and tomorrow, with temperatures dropping as low as minus 3C in some parts.

Met Eireann forecaster John Eagleton said it will be windy throughout the country today, but we'll be spared the worst effects of Storm Caroline.

Today will be "windy, blustery, cold and bright and it will be quite showery in the north-west", he said.

"When evening comes in, temperatures will drop and those showers will turn wintry in Donegal, north Mayo, Connemara, north Longford and north Midlands."

Temperatures will drop to zero or below zero tonight for the bulk of the country, he said, but will hit as low at minus 3C in the northwest tomorrow.

"It will be cold for the next 10 days, with temperatures hardly making it up to 10C during the day," said Mr Eagleton.

A status yellow wind warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry will remain in place until 8pm tonight.

Earlier, Met Eireann warned that the cold air and some icy conditions coming tonight will be "a real shock to the system" after the mild period. It will turn increasingly wintry with biting north-west winds. There may be a light dusting of snow around the country, and it may stick in places in the north and northwest.

Debris

The Road Safety Authority has cautioned motorists to expect the unexpected with high winds and icy conditions.

Its advice included:

• Watch out for falling/fallen debris and vehicles veering across the road.

• Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong crosswinds. High-sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.

• Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists.

• Drive with dipped headlights at all times.

• Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.

• It takes longer to stop in wet conditions, so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front.

• Take special care when driving behind heavy goods vehicles, as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces visibility.

• Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning, especially on roads with speed limits of 100kph and 120kph.

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