A SIBERIAN cold snap is to sweep across the city and county from tonight with temperatures feeling as cold as -13C this week and snowfalls expected to cause hazardous driving conditions.
The Government today convened a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) given the seriousness of the threat posed by the approaching weather system, named the Beast from the East.
The Russian Arctic front is to bring snow, ice, sleet showers and temperatures as low as -5C this week– but a wind chill factor will make it feel as cold as -13C.
Gardaí are warning people to take extra precautions to stay safe during the cold snap and extra beds have been made available for homeless rough sleepers.
It will be very cold tonight, hitting -2 and -4C but feeling as cold as -8C, with a severe frost and the risk of snow showers.
Wednesday through to Friday is expected to bring the coldest conditions, with severe frosts and daytime temperatures struggling to get above zero by day.
Emergency co-ordinator, Sergeant Peter Murphy, said:
“Preparation is key to minimise disruption to individuals going about their lives. We are expecting low temperatures, snow, ice and frost. Our advice to people is to stay safe by exercising caution on the roads.
“Make sure to defrost the windows of your car before driving. Ensure you can see out all windows “Check media reports regarding road conditions and use common sense, don’t take risks, don't overtake on icy roads and brake gently.” Sgt Murphy, who also runs the Cork Kerry Winter Ready Twitter account which keeps people informed on weather issues and offers practical safety advice said the Gardaí have dealt with a number of crashes during the recent cold snap where cars have ended up on their roofs.
“Don’t go too fast and be careful of black ice,” Sgt Murphy warned.
With regards elderly or vulnerable people, Sgt Murphy encouraged people to check in on their neighbours.
“Ensure they have sufficient fuel, food and medication if they need it. Help them to keep well and warm and advice them to be wary of slipping in the conditions.” Finally, with regards businesses and schools, Sgt Murphy had the following advice.
“Businesses need to plan, meet and communicate: Plan for the what is likely to happen, meet with key decision makers and communicate what is going to happen to all relevant parties.
“Schools should look over their severe weather plan and ensure they have all necessary contact details; new staff, Special needs assistants, parents.
“Also make sure all staff know their role and their decision-making capabilities.” For further information and advice on how to stay safe in the upcoming weather conditions log onto winterready.ie.