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Weather warning: 5cm of snow forecast for Westmeath

Story by Olga Aughey

Monday, 5th February, 2018 10:03am

Weather warning: 5cm of snow forecast for Westmeath

Local weather man Cathal Nolan of the Midland Weather Channel says counties Westmeath and Offaly are likely to see the heaviest of the snow forecast for tonight, Monday.

A snow and ice weather warning has been issued by Met Éireann for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, East Cork, Tipperary and Waterford by Met Éireann.

"This evening and tonight, falls of snow will give accumulations of 0 to 3 cm leading to hazardous conditions on roads and footpaths," said the Met office.

The reason the snow will fall heaviest in the midlands is the location of the jet stream, as Cathal Nolan explains:

"For the last week, there's been high pressure blocking the southwesterly winds that usually bring mild conditions to Ireland during the winter and springtime. It's allowed us to become more exposed to north and northwesterly airflows.

"We'll be getting much colder temperatures and a much greater chance of snow. As this cold front crosses southeastwards, any precipitation is likely to fall as snow.

"The whole of Westmeath and Offaly are more likely to see snow more than any other part of the midlands, Longford might get a small dusting."

The snow event will commence from 7pm this evening onwards.

"Temperatures will remain very low throughout today, not going higher than 3 - 4 degrees. As night falls, we'll see the temperature drop as low as -1, as the night continues it will drop as low as -3."

Cathal says Westmeath will experience 5cm of snow on higher ground, as will the Slieve Bloom mountains in County Offaly, while everywhere else there will be between 2-3cms.

"It will fall as powdery snow, which is something we're not used to seeing in the midlands, normally it's very wet and generally doesn't stick."

But this snow event will, and it's likely to become compacted by morning as traffic begins to travel.

The colder conditions are due to persist for the remainder of the week, with temperatures falling as low as -4 and -5 some nights, with further spells of sleet and snow possible.

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