A swan walking on the frozen Royal Canal near Killucan. Photo by Lorna McGreehan.

Bitterly cold weather to last until the weekend

The bitterly cold weather is set to continue for another few days at least, according to a local weather forecaster.

Cathal Nolan of Ireland's Weather Channel told the Westmeath Examiner that the current cold spell will last until the weekend.

“For the remainder of this week, the particularly cold weather will be in place, by that we mean up until Saturday. We see a change in our weather as we go into Saturday. We will go back to more typically south westerly air flows with milder temperatures, perhaps above average, over the weekend. That brings its own risks of heavy rain and the possibility of gale force winds in coastal area at times, in particular.

“From now until then, people can expect bitterly cold temperatures. Day time values in Westmeath and the midlands will really struggle to get above freezing and night time temperatures will be as low as minus six to minus eight degrees.”

The current cold spell is the longest since December 2010, when heavy snow caused havoc across the country. Mr Nolan says that it is unlikely that there will be any snowfalls in the midlands in the coming days.

“I would say there is a higher risk [of snow] along the north west, the northern half of the country and even along the eastern coastal fringes for a time. It is really the coastal fringes and it will mostly be in the form of showers.

“I don't think that we will any snow from this particular spell in the midlands. It is just those really quite frigid temperatures.”

As for the possibility of a white Christmas, Nolan says that it is too early to say.

“There is no definitive signs to say that we will get one this year. It is still very early days. You could see a switch in patterns that could lead to the possibility of a white Christmas, but at the moment its too far out and it's really uncertain.”

The Irish Weather Channel is launching a new text and WhatsApp service. In addition to the Irish Weather Channel's Facebook page, people can sign up and get daily forecasts directly to their mobile phone, including weather warnings and updates on road conditions.