AN ORANGE weather warning has been issued for most of the country for tomorrow night (Wednesday 13th), with widespread temperatures below -5°C forecast, leading to severe frost and ice.
Met Eireann has updated previous warnings following temperatures falling to as low as -7°C overnight on Sunday and much of the country waking up to more frost and fog on both Monday and Tuesday morning.
Recent rainfall combines with the cold temperatures could lead to dangerous driving conditions, so the public are advised to exercise caution when using roads over the next few days.
The current yellow warning lasts until 6pm on Wednesday, with the more severe orange warning taking over until 12pm on Thursday.
According to Met Éireann's website, an orange warning is given before weather conditions that could severely impact people and businesses in an area.
Met Éireann has said that it will remain very cold through the week with widespread sharp to severe frosts and icy stretches. Some showers of hail, sleet and snow will occur, mainly near coasts. Freezing fog will occur at times, with winds remaining light over land.
As a result of the cold, it is possible that there will be treacherous conditions on paths and roads, travel disruption, potential for burst water pipes and damage to engines, increased risks to vulnerable members of the community and animal welfare issues.
Cork County Council's severe weather assessment team met this morning and have extended their road treatment programme to include P3 routes and town centres.
Grit stockpiles are available to local communities at certain locations throughout the county, with grit available in Bandon, Bantry, Castletownbere, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Macroom, Skibbereen and Schull. A full list of locations is available here.
The low temperatures and low wind speeds could also cause issues with Ireland's energy supply, with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last week saying that electricity supply will be 'quite tight'.
'I do want to reassure people that in the unlikely event there is a shortage of electricity, and that hasn’t happened yet, the first to be affected will be the major energy users: the data centres that have their own back-up electricity,' he said.
'It won’t be homes, farms, small businesses.'
Despite the low temperature warning, the current Met Éireann forecast says that West Cork will be slightly warmer than the rest of the country.
While it will remain close to freezing point, temperatures look set to hover above 0°C for the rest of the week.
The weather should warm up by the weekend, with temperatures of up to 10°C forecast for Sunday afternoon.
The current cold spell is in sharp contrast with temperatures in recent months, which have been warmer than in previous years. The mean temperature on Sherkin Island was almost 2°C higher in October and November of this year than in both 2019 and 2020, according to Met Éireann.
While the frost and ice bring difficulties, they also give West Cork's stunning landscape another chance to shine, as various locals pointed out over the weekend!
Another pic from this morning in Bantry, the sky was so blue and the water was like glass! ?❄#Bantry #WestCork #lreland #WildAtlanticWay #Dec11th #Frost @StormHour @pure_cork @corkbeo pic.twitter.com/dcBXsepy0S
— Margaret O'Connell? (@MargaretOC6) December 11, 2022
— Zoë Pellegrini (@ZoeMcmanus5) December 12, 2022