Heavy Snow Alert For Ireland

 A countrywide snow event could be on the cards for Ireland on Tuesday of next week.  

Weather models indicate that some parts of the country would record in the region of 4-6 inches of snow if a storm system in the Bay of Biscay tracks northwards as indicated at present.

According to iWeather Online long range weather forecaster Peter O’Donnell: “There is good model consensus now on a snowfall event for Tuesday, with all four (or five) of the major models showing a storm tracking northeast from near northwest Spain Monday night to some position in northern France.”

“The GFS is most aggressive in bringing this storm north into southeast England and the North Sea. The GEM model has almost the same evolution but not quite as far north and seems the strongest of all in terms of snowfall potential for Ireland. The UKMO and ECM models are more prone to stalling the low in France as they maintain the signal of blocking high pressure to the north. With that evolution, snowfall depends mainly on the strength of the easterly flow across Britain and Ireland

“Obviously too early to be definitive, but snowfalls in the 10-15 cm range would be plausible with any of these models or the model consensus at this stage, with the heaviest falls inland eastern and southern counties”, he added.
Tuesday's storm system. (c) Meteociel
 iWeather Online will be tracking the system’s path in the coming days but at present the medium range weather models are indicating a potentially severe spell of weather for the country during the second half of Tuesday and Wednesday.

Temperatures across Ireland will plummet from tomorrow night with scattered snow showers becoming more widespread over northern, central and eastern counties over the weekend. Air temperatures at night will dip as low as minus 6-8C in sheltered areas by the end of the weekend.

According to Peter O’Donnell: “I think Friday and the weekend will bring scattered outbreaks of 3-5 cms of snow, with the north favoured more than other parts of the country at first, but then later the east and central counties well exposed to incoming snow streamers from the Irish Sea. Winds will tend to veer from NNE towards ENE during the period which should be the main reason for a shift further south in the heavier accumulating snowfall bands. “

“I also think that snow streamers on the weekend will have vigorous convection due to the extreme difference in air mass temperature and sea temperature (still reported at 12 C at the M2 buoy). Air mass temperatures streaming off the U.K. land mass will be something like -1/-5 for temp dp values. This air will warm rapidly to about 5/2 near the surface but the profile above 200m will only be slightly modified. This will lead to vigorous convection and our many weather watchers in Meath, Dublin and Wicklow as well as some neighbouring counties will no doubt be reporting heavy falls of snow, hail and snow pellets as well as possibly a bit of rain at times, and lightning seems quite likely with this (especially later Saturday and Sunday).”

Meanwhile, a band of rain, sleet and snow will extend southwards across the country tonight before temperatures nosedive.

Peter O’Donnell commented: “There is a weak warm sector being pulled into the northerly circulation from the near Atlantic and this is temporarily raising temperatures especially in the west. This is a response to the developing wave dropping southwest from Norway, and this warm sector should be pushed off the south coast late tonight, so expect the current rain showers to start mixing more with sleet, hail and snow as the night goes on, but also, more to the east where the warming is less noticeable. A fairly strong cold front will develop tonight around the Hebrides and sweep south across Ulster during the morning. This should mark the onset of the coldest weather and the more organized bands of accumulating snow.”