Freezing weather alert issued as ‘Siberian anti-cyclone’ edges closer

The Government Task Force on Emergency Planning will meet tomorrow as forecasters warn of a bitterly cold “Siberian freeze” over the coming days.

Met Eireann has issued a Status Yellow low temperature alert which is set to remain in place until 9:00am tomorrow morning. A temperature low point of -3° is expected overnight tonight.

The national forecaster has also issued a Status Yellow weather advisory warning; it will be valid from just after midnight tomorrow night, until Saturday, March 3, at 6:00pm.

The east, north and southern regions are expected to be most affected over the coming week.

Tomorrow is expected to be very cold but dry in most areas. Isolated wintry showers are possible in eastern coastal counties in the afternoon and evening; with top temperatures of just 2° to 5°. The odd snow flurry near the east coast can be expected tomorrow night.

Patchy sleet and snow is also expected for Tuesday, according to Met Eireann, in parts of east Ulster, Leinster and east Munster.

Sub-zero temperatures

However, snow showers will become fairly frequent across eastern counties during Tuesday evening and overnight; with slight to moderate accumulations expected by dawn. A severe frost is also expected to fall – with temperatures dropping between -3° to -7°.

The national meteorological service also forecasts “extremely cold” weather for Wednesday with sunny spells and snow showers. The snow showers will be heaviest and most frequent across the eastern half of the country. Temperatures will remain below freezing in most parts of the country, with frost and ice persisting through the day.

Further snowfall is expected overnight – mainly across Ulster, Leinster and east Munster. Met Eireann warns that severe frost will form nationwide with temperatures diving to between -3° and -7°.

It is expected that Thursday will be another bitterly cold day with scattered snow showers. A more persistent spell of snow is expected to move up from the south during Thursday night, with significant accumulations in many areas.

Early indications from Met Eireann suggest that there will be further falls of snow for a time on Friday; but, clearer conditions are forecast to extend gradually from the south of the country.

Earlier today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed caution over the incoming weather system on his Twitter page:

Speaking on RTE, Met Eireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly said: “Strong winds will sweep through Ireland during the week. There will be sub-zero temperatures during the day on Thursday with strong winds and heavy snowfall.”

She said the bad weather is due to a Siberian easterly anti-cyclone which is centred over Scandinavia at the moment.

Donnelly anticipates that Dublin and the east coast are likely to experience the most snow.

“When it does snow in the east, we tend to get more of it because of the onset of cold easterly weather. Ireland usually gets westerly winds with mild, damp conditions,” said Donnelly.