Weather News In Brief - Dec 27 2010

Carlow Town park. Pic Gerard Heary
Flooding is expected countrywide today as a return to more normal winter temperatures brings rain and melting snow, according to The Irish Times.  Met √Čireann said all areas would be at risk from flooding today and tomorrow with heavy and persistent rain expected, particularly across the southern half of the country. 

  • HEAVY SNOW ALERT FOR BRITAIN: The Guardian reports that snow and icy conditions are expected to return tonight as today's sunshine and double digit temperatures are replaced by winds that will reprise the bitter cold experienced by most of the country in the run up to Christmas. Severe weather warnings were issued last night for much of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and heavy snow, sleet and rain is expected to spread north-eastwards across the country, causing more disruption on the transport network. By Tuesday morning the east, northwest, Yorkshire, West Midlands, London and the south-east are forecast to receive up to 15cm of snow – returning large parts of the country to the big chill that has made December the coldest on record.

  • TRANSPORT/TRAVEL: Road conditions are still a concern, with packed snow and ice remaining in some areas, and pools on many roads following rain and melting of snow. Drivers should exercise extreme caution. Tips for driving, cycling or walking in adverse weather can be found at www.rsa.ieBus √Čireann is reported as operating weekend schedules today. Iarnrod Eireann: Rail services are to resume today.  No DART service between Dun Laoghaire and Bray, due to works.  Dublin Bus is offering a full bus service on all corridors, with some additional early morning departures on routes for shoppers.  However, due to the adverse weather conditions, there are curtailments to some routes and some services may be subject to delays. Luas services are operating normally. Dublin Airport is fully operational this morning. Snow and ice crews are on standby should weather conditions deteriorate further.  Latest road conditions around Ireland HERE
  • WATER: Many local authorities have had to ask consumers to conserve water. Night-time restrictions are in place in some areas.  Information is available on local authority websites.  There are problems with consumer service pipes that froze during the extremely cold spell; local authorities are providing water from standpipes and water tankers in areas where significant numbers of households are affected.  Latest from Fingal County Council HERE. Limerick County Council today said the ongoing thaw has resulted in extensive watermain breaks throughout County Limerick. The local authority has indicated that the public can expect periodic water shut-offs over the coming days. The Council has described the disruption to local water supplies as “unprecedented”, and said it is continuing to work around the clock to repair burst water mains and restore water supply to the affected customers. In the worst affected areas of West Limerick arrangements are being made to provide alternative water supplies to the towns of Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West. Clare County Council confirmed today that demand for water is exceeding supply capability on most water supplies in the County. The Council is urgently requesting that owners check vacant buildings and water supplies to land in order to detect and prevent leaks.
    Water will be cut-off until further notice at the following times and locations.
    -       Doora, Barefield, Crusheen, Lahinch Road and Shanaway Road (both Ennis) from 11.00pm to 7.00am
    -       Shannon, Newmarket on Fergus, Sixmilebridge, Kilmurray, Kilkishen, Quin and Tulla from 8.00pm to 8.00am
    -       Clonlara, Shannon Banks and Westbury from 8.00pm to 8.00am
    -       Lahinch, Liscannor, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin and Fanore from 11.30pm to 8.00
    Standpipes will continue to operate at the usual locations in Ennis/Clarecastle, Shannon, Sixmilebridge and Westbury (all from 10.00am to 12.00noon until further notice)

  • BUSINESS: A host of restaurants, pubs, retailers and other service companies are likely to go out of business in early 2011, while others are depending on the sale season to break even, according to an industry representative group. The Sunday Business Post reports that many large retailers are opening their doors today in a bid to recoup some of the sales lost over the last month as a result of the freezing conditions.
  • BBC Monthly Outlook: Monday 10 January 2011 to Sunday 23 January 2011 - Cold and colder. The cold weather looks set to continue across the UK, with particularly low temperatures likely across central parts. This gives a continuing risk of widespread sharp frosts overnight for most regions, with daytime temperatures only a little above freezing.  Sunshine and precipitation amounts look set to be around average for mid-January, but given the continuing low temperatures, it is likely that some places will see further snow.
  • USA: The North East coast of the United States has been badly affected by a major winter storm. RTE News says airports in New York and Boston have been shut down as the US national weather service predicted between 40 and 50cm of snow and winds of more than 55km per hour. States of emergency have been declared in six states. 
  • SPORT: The Christmas Racing festival at Limerick Racecourse looks likely to finally get underway on Tuesday after a track inspection showed a major improvement in conditions, reports the Limerick Leader.
  • AUSTRALIA: Torrential rains across eastern Australia have left some towns flooded while the southern state of Tasmania has been hit by an unusual flurry of summer snow, reports FORBES.  In Queensland, the state bureau of meteorology says up to 11 inches (27 centimeters) of rain fell in a 24-hour period in some areas, flooding roads and stranding holiday travelers Monday.