Belfast Telegraph

Weather warning upgraded for Beast from the East

Public urged to look out for neighbours, elderly and rough sleepers.

Weather chiefs have upgraded warnings for Arctic conditions across Ireland as the “Beast from the East” sweeps in.

A snow-ice alert has been issued for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Wicklow and Meath from Tuesday, with up to 6cm of snow expected to accumulate by Wednesday morning.

Met Eireann warned of widespread frost and icy conditions as it shifted its yellow status warning to orange, the next level.

The counties of Kilkenny, Longford, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford are also expected to see scattered snow showers but accumulations are forecast to be lower than parts of Leinster.

Parts of the country are set to feel colder than the Arctic Circle as freezing temperatures continue to the end of the week and the mercury drops five to 10 degrees lower than normal for this time of year.

Forecasters have also warned about the compounding problem of wind chill.

As well as the warnings about snow fall, there is also a status yellow low temperature warning for the entire country with lows of minus five degrees expected on Monday night.

It is expected to be the coldest spell to hit Ireland since the big freeze of 2010.

The weather alerts were upgraded as the National Emergency Co-ordination Group met in Dublin to co-ordinate plans to deal with the Arctic blast.

Homeless charities have warned of the risk to life for rough sleepers while hostel beds are to stay open 24 hours a day to help keep people off the streets.

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive urged the public to report people sleeping rough in order for outreach services to approach them with offers of accommodation.

The Peter McVerry Trust said it would take exceptional steps to deal with the freeze and has secured access to a city centre sports centre to accommodate people.

At least 100 people routinely sleep rough in Dublin.

Focus Ireland said it is working with all homeless organisations in the city to get beds for everyone on the streets.

The threat of heavy snowfalls and subsequent frozen roads is a result of winds bringing freezing temperatures from Russia and the North Pole and precipitation from air moving north from the Bay of Biscay.

The Department of Education said decisions on whether schools will close are expected to be taken on an individual basis as the week progresses and on advice from the National Emergency Co-ordination Group.

In the UK, Met Office forecasts said that by the end of Wednesday more than 20cm of snow may have accumulated in some parts of eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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