Cold snap warnings ‘likely’ to be upgraded to Status Red

Weather warnings issued in relation to the upcoming cold snap are “likely” to be upgraded to Status Red later in the week, according to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy.

The minister made the comments this morning at a press conference following a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG).

It certainly has the potential in the south and east of the country to become a Status Red warning on Thursday or Friday; whether that happens in the rest of the country remains to be seen.

“We’re keeping it under review; but, it is likely it might hit Status Red at some point later in the week,” he said.

Minister Murphy explained that the NECG is likely to meet on at least a daily basis in the coming days to assess the “constantly evolving situation”.

Also Read: Up to 6cm of snow expected as multiple weather warnings issued

Commenting on the cold snap, the minister said: “There is an exceptionally cold weather event at our doorstep and it will have an impact on the country; it will progressively get worse towards the end of the week.

Our effort as a Government and as a crisis response management team is to make sure that we can keep the country running, while also keeping people safe.

“We’re probably about 24 hours away before we can expect the system to really move into the country.

Thursday and Friday are looking like the worst days; but we are keeping things under review. Obviously, it is difficult to forecast every day, because we are facing nature.

“But, what’s looking like the storm front that we’ve been talking about – called ‘The Beast from the East’ – will converge with the system coming up from the Bay of Biscay, which is being referred to as ‘Emma’ by the Portuguese authorities.

“That means on Thursday we are likely to see heavy snow, driving winds and potentially zero visibility on our roads,” he said.

It is hoped the cold snap will abate on Saturday evening. Minister Murphy urged the public to heed advisory warnings issued by Met Eireann and to check on vulnerable people living alone, especially the elderly.

The minister is confident that the Government is well prepared to deal with the unfolding situation. He urged people not to panic and explained that people have enough time to prepare and stock up on essentials for the worsening conditions.

Potential for farm accidents

Meanwhile, the potential for farm accidents could increase during the cold snap, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has warned.

The deputy president of the ICMSA, Lorcan McCabe, has appealed to the farming community and the wider general public to take extra care over the next few days.

The potential for farm accidents increases in these kinds of conditions, McCabe said.

He urged farmers to be vigilant on their own families’ behalves and particularly on behalf of elderly neighbours, who may well become anxious as the extreme cold snap hits.

The deputy president also recommended that farmers consider bringing in young stock and monitoring water pumps.