Belfast Telegraph

End in sight to Arctic conditions

Overnight temperatures are to plummet to minus 15C in parts of Ireland this week, but the ice and snow will be replaced by wind and rain from Christmas Day.

Commuters in the east of the country faced travel misery on Monday night after heavy snow, with long tailbacks in Dublin. Dublin Airport was forced to close for the evening.

Met Eireann warned of heavy snow in east Leinster, Ulster, Connaught and west Munster for Monday night and Tuesday.

Salt stocks are down to 8,000 tonnes with fresh supplies due on Wednesday night, but not ready to be spread until Thursday.

But Met Eireann said the end was in sight with temperatures forecast to be as high as 10C on Christmas Day.

Forecaster Pat Clarke said: "The good news is we are expecting the weather to get milder during Christmas Day.

"What's going to happen is a band of wet and windy weather is going to sweep in from the Atlantic. That will bring rain."

Dublin Bus cancelled its Nitelink service and curtailed other routes, while Bus Eireann said the bulk of its services were operating normally. Iarnrod Eireann said it had a full service with minor delays.

The National Roads Authority (NRA) said it has 8,000 tonnes of salt left, with 2,000 tonnes used on average each day. Some 4,000 tonnes are due to arrive on Wednesday for spreading on Thursday and fresh supplies every two to three days from then on, bringing reserves up to 25,000 tonnes by Christmas week.

Joe Crockett, Kilkenny city and county manager, said while salt stocks were low, the arrangements with the NRA to secure supplies had worked. "Salt supplies have been scarce. There has to be a strategic framework for the application of salt and we have more salt supplies on the way so the arrangements are working," he said.

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