ADVANCE ALERT - Snow/Ice, Ireland, March 10-12, 2013


There has been a slight upgrade in the model consensus for the potential of significant snowfalls Sunday night and Monday and the chances are probably at least 70% for accumulations (in the range of 5-15 cm mainly) over large parts of Ulster and Leinster, accompanied by gusty northeast winds in the range of 50-80 km/hr and bitterly cold temperatures falling to about -1 C.

The chances for the south coast are also fairly high and part of the potential there would be interaction between the cold air mass and the low off to the south (see below map), but also the activity from Leinster could spill over into parts of Munster as the winds will be strong enough to advect the snow possibly as far as Limerick to Cork, more definitely as far as Tipperary and Waterford. 

Forecast chart valid @ 11 Mar-2013 00 UTC. Image c/o

The northwest is also included in the snow-watch as wind directions there will be fairly close to an ideal NNE by later Monday especially, so in fact the only regions less likely to see snow would probably be around Galway Bay and Kerry-coastal Clare. And these areas could see passing snow showers by Tuesday as winds come around to a more favourable (for them) NW direction.

The rest of the week then looks more settled and continuing rather cold although the days will warm up somewhat under the strong March sun to values around 5-7 C. The following weekend still looks cold and wet with the potential for rain to turn to snow as a reinforcement of arctic air begins to develop during the passage of the storm system currently affecting New England but centered well off to the south (almost due north of Bermuda now). 

According to TMT Senior Forecaster Peter O'Donnell: "That situation is far from settled at this stage and if the colder air "digs in" during the week to come, that storm might have a hard time lifting enough warm air to change the temperature enough to prevent another snowfall, but in the meantime, I have growing confidence in the outlook for a relatively significant snow event developing Sunday night and persisting through most of Monday, with the focus of heaviest snow likely to shift south during the day although it may begin with two separate events in east Ulster and south coast then begin to merge the two, so those details are yet to be totally worked out."

"We should stress the volatile nature of the situation as much colder air will be rushing into the region and this is a more explosive pattern than anything seen earlier in the recent winter season. There could be thunder with some of the hail and snow during the transition later Sunday and a continuing potential for thunder-snow in streamers on Monday. However, there will likely be breaks between bursts of snow and even some bright sunshine at times on Monday. Travel may become difficult in Leinster and Ulster as well as some parts of the south. The impacts will likely be less severe in the west but it will become bitterly cold everywhere -- even the normally temperate outer coasts of Kerry could see a bit of snow from this," he added.

The Meteo Times daily long range weather forecast contains further details in relation to the coming week’s weather in Ireland. Click here to view.

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