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Mayo expected to escape worst of ‘Beast from the East’


Minister Ring advises people to check on elderly neighbours

Anton McNulty

The ‘Beast from the East’ is set to send temperatures plummeting this week but Mayo and the west is expected to escape the worst of its fury.
The nickname given to a weather system, which is a dry polar air mass from Siberia and the North Pole, has brought sub-zero temperatures across Europe. It is set to hit Ireland later today with conditions to deteriorate overnight and temperatures to plunge to as low as minus five degrees Celsius during the week.
Met Éireann have issued an ‘orange’ weather warning for Dublin and the counties in east with snow showers expected to lead to accumulations of four to six cms by Wednesday morning. A yellow warning for snow and ice has also been issued for parts of Leinster and Munster. A low temperature warning has been issued for the rest of the country with air temperatures to reach minus five degrees Celsius.
The cold spell is to hit hardest in Mayo tomorrow and Thursday with daytime temperatures forecasted to go below zero degrees Celsius, with people to wake up on Thursday morning to temperatures as low as minus four degrees Celsius.
However, despite the sub zero temperatures, Mayo is expected to escape the worst of the snowfall with only a light falling of snow forecasted to fall on Thursday evening and the early hours of Friday morning. Heavy frost is forecasted and the public have been advised to take care especially while travelling on the roads.
The potentially hazardous conditions are caused by a low pressure weather system which is moving up from the Bay of Biscay and comes into contact with ‘exceptionally cold air’.
The temperatures are only expected to rise very slightly over the weekend with top daytime temperatures of only three degrees Celsius on Saturday and four degrees Celsius on Sunday.
Emergency group
The government’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather met yesterday to make preparations for the coming days. Met Éireann’s Evelyn Cusack said the snow fall in the east could be close to ‘blizzard conditions at stages throughout the week’, and she added that it is possible that a Red nationwide warning could be issued.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government advises that this ‘weather event is likely to have a significant and disruptive impact’ and the public should be aware of Met Éireann’s yellow, orange and red warnings, and to take appropriate action.
Irish Water has mobilised its crisis management arrangements to deal with the expected weather, as severe weather can result in big demand increases on its network with additional pipe bursts and additional water use.
The employers group, ISME have advised employers to remain vigilant this week in relation to the anticipated worsening of weather conditions over the next couple of days.
“Unlike Ophelia, we now have the opportunity to prepare for this event and we advise employers to take time to put measures in place to reduce the potential business impact this warning could have.
“During Ophelia, widespread business closures occurred at short notice. While it is very possible that business closures will not be necessary on this occasion, businesses should prepare for the possibility,” stated Neil McDonnell, Chief Executive of ISME.

Check on elderly - Ring
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD, has reminded people of the need to look out for older and more vulnerable members of their community during the cold snap which has been forecasted for this week.
“All indications are that we are facing into a period of extreme weather. Older people and those living alone are often most vulnerable to these cold snaps.
“It’s important to remember older, vulnerable people not only in isolated rural areas but also in built up urban areas. I urge people throughout the country to check in on your neighbours by phone or, if possible, in person. It is particularly important to check if people have enough food, fuel and medication,” said Minister Ring.

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