Heavy Snow To Sweep Across Ireland

The forecast for later tonight and Friday is a difficult one, let's be clear about that ... at this point, I would say that most of Ireland will see 3-7 cms of snow from this front, and some places (most likely inland north to east) could see as much as 10-12 cms, writes iWeather Online forecaster Peter O'Donnell.  


There will also be some freezing drizzle or freezing rain mixed in, and this may be heavier in the inland south than elsewhere. Some places could get mostly this frozen type of precip. The whole mess could turn over to sleet for a while, and that's most likely near sea level and in places like Dublin city centre due to the local heat island raising temperatures by a degree or two.

Before this all arrives, some places will drop to -10 or even -12 C over the deep snow cover away from the coasts, before cloud spreads in and raises the temperature to about -4 C.

I will be updating this outlook as necessary, but for now, would say for most places, expect a medium-sized top up to existing snow, in some cases, new snow that will fall on bare ground, and in a few places, a heavy top-up ... perversely, the way this often works is that the deepest snow chills the surface layer the most effectively and thereby produces more snow locally than other places get.

What I will be watching for very carefully, is any sign of wave formation, which is partially anticipated in this (and probably other) forecast(s). If a well-organized wave developed west of about Clare tonight and tracked across the south, then this snowfall potential could increase to as much as 15-20 cms. So that is in the realm of possibility, I would say check back around 11 p.m. to midnight when updated model runs will be available and the front should be within radar range. The snow (or drizzle) should start on the west coast around 0300h.