Weather experts are now predicting that Ireland will get even colder next week as a “once-in-a-lifetime” Siberian weather event brings further freezing temperatures and another six inches of snow.
Brian Gaze, meteorologist with The Weather Outlook says next week will be even colder than the last with the cold snap stretching to beyond Christmas. He believes this is a freak cold spell and something we will not see repeated in our lifetimes.
"The prospects for a white Christmas are good. Christmas Day itself may be very cold, with snowfall in places, and other areas already having snow on the ground.
"The cold is expected to persist beyond Christmas Day, but to break — at least temporarily — in time for new year."
"It’s very unusual to have such an intense and long-lasting cold spell, especially this early in the winter,” said Gaze.
"This cold spell is a once-in-a-lifetime event. We’ll probably never see it again. It’s being caused by repeated high pressure north of Britain, blocking mild weather from the west and allowing bitterly cold air from Siberia and the Arctic to sweep across the country.
"This weather pattern means medium-range forecast confidence is high, and the cold looks locked in.
"It’s increasingly likely it will get even worse later next week, persisting through Christmas week and bringing very wintry conditions.
"Cold weather is expected to affect Ireland, with a risk of snow showers and severe overnight frosts. Inland, parts of Ireland could fall as low as -10C [14F].
"During the Christmas period itself, Ireland is at risk of persistent snow as weather fronts bringing precipitation may push in from the Atlantic, bringing up to six inches of snow.
The public are now getting angry as Met Eireann, the national meteorological services, failed to predict that this Arctic weather would continue.
Although the majority of roads have now been cleared footpaths and lesser used roads remain dangerous and covered with ice. Also the low temperatures have meant difficulties with water supplies in Dublin and part of Kildare. This has meant that water is being shut off for 12 hours a day.
The bad weather has also meant that many have become housebound fearing the treacherous pavements around the country.
Eamon Timmins, spokesperson for Age Action, called on people to check in on their elderly friends and neighbors as the cold weather claimed another life. Yesterday a woman in her 70s was found dead outside her home in Galway. It’s suspected she slipped on the ice.
He said “People think the crisis has passed, but footpaths in the towns and cities are thick with ice. It’s as dangerous as it was in the thickness of the snow.”