Weather News In Brief - Dec 20 2010

Walking the dog, Keshcerrigan, Leitrim. Pic by Blanaid Hoffman
Temperatures in Northern Ireland plummeted to their lowest on record with -18C recorded at Castlederg, Co Tyrone last night, reports Inside Ireland. A further 10 to 15cms of snow fell in some areas and the freezing conditions have made roads hazardous. 

Dun Laoghaire this morn. Pic Brendan Kehoe
Increasingly desperate travellers struggled to get home Monday in time for Christmas as Europe's key airports tried to dig their way out of snow and ice, reports CNN. Only one of London Heathrow's two runways was operational Monday morning, a day after almost all flights at one of the world's busiest international airports were cancelled. Paris' Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport is due to cancel 30% of flights Monday, as is the city's second airport, Orly, Aeroports de Paris said. And Frankfurt airport in Germany has called off 325 flights out of a scheduled 1,300 to 1,400, spokesman Robert Payne said. Some of that is because of the weather in Germany, and some of it is because of flight disruptions at other airports, he added.

"Extreme weather" stories rarely live up the newspaper hype. This time, the domination of the news agenda by snow and freezing conditions is surely justified”, Greenslade, The Guardian.

Several hundred million more euro could be lost to the economy in absenteeism, lost sales and lost productivity if the icy weather resumes this week, reports The Sunday Business Post. The Irish Business Employers Confederation (Ibec) carried out a survey of members during the recent cold snap which estimated that €640 million was lost.
The chief executive of a major hospitality body in Northern Ireland has said the situation for the local industry is "critical" after trade was badly hit by the weekend weather. Hundreds of Christmas functions had to be cancelled on Friday and Saturday after snow caused massive disruption. Colin Neill of Pubs of Ulster, which represents 70% of pubs in NI and and a third of all hotels, said he expected "a lot of bars" to close in the new year - BBC

MET EIREANN ADVISORY: Widespread very severe frost and icy conditions this morning and temperatures generally not rising above zero during daytime Monday. Some snow showers/pockets of freezing fog but most areas dry. Arctic conditions continuing up to Christmas Day then Atlantic airflow becoming established.

Streamers in Irish sea which brough snow to parts of Louth, Dublin and Wicklow
Isle of Man shadow effect close up
The Cancun global warming and wealth redistribution summit concluded last week, with little to show for two weeks of talking in 5-star hotels and restaurants, other than vague promises that countries will try to do something meaningful about the “threat” of “dangerous” climate change, reports Right Side News.
Sunset over Slievnamon, Tipperary (19 Dec). Pic Geoff Bateman