The current cold snap could turn even colder in the coming weeks as Met Eireann expects a Sudden Stratospheric Warming – the same event that caused the Beast from the East in 2018.
The forecaster has warned that conditions could bring even colder, drier weather to Ireland.
Two years ago, the Beast from the East and Storm Emma led to a Status Red weather warning for Ireland. The country was hit with one of the most significant snowfall events of recent years.
Other Sudden Stratospheric Warming events have had little impact on Ireland, Met Eireann Climatologist Paul Moore explained.
“Every SSW is different and less than half of them lead to colder conditions in Ireland. For example, the SSW in February 2018 led to the ‘beast from the east’ and storm Emma, whereas the SSW in January 2019 had no significant impact here, due to the easterly winds not propagating down into the troposphere from the stratosphere.”
The outlook for the week forecasts more freezing weather and snow.
Tonight in Ulster, Met Eireann is forecasting outbreaks of rain, turning to sleet and snow for a time, particularly in eastern parts of the province leading to poor travelling conditions.
“Lowest temperatures of -3 to +1 degrees, with frost and icy patches developing, coldest early in the night. Freezing fog patches may also occur overnight in the light to moderate variable breezes, become fresh west to northwest winds by morning,” the forecast said.
Thursday will be another cold day with temperatures of just 2 to 5 degrees.
The national outlook for the remainder of the week says: “Temperatures well below normal to start the weekend with widespread severe frost and ice. Becoming less cold over the weekend.”