Updated: 26/02/18 : 06:42:41
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Country braces for 'Beast from the East'

Councils around the country, including Sligo County Council, are preparing for the arrival of the 'Beast from the East' freezing weather conditions.

The cold blast of air driven from Russia and the North Pole - will bring plummeting temperatures and snow.

From Tuesday onwards, forecasts predict disruptive snow showers, particularly in the east and southeast, with temperatures falling between -3 and -7 overnight. Snow showers during the evening and overnight along with “severe frost” also be expected.

By Wednesday, the weather is projected to be “extremely cold” with sunny spells and snow showers.

The eastern half of the country is expected to receive the heaviest and most frequent snow showers, but temperatures are predicted to remain below freezing in most parts of the country with frost and ice throughout the day.

“Bitterly cold” weather and morning scattered snow showers are expected on Thursday, followed by a more persistent spell of snow  across the south of the country during the afternoon. These snow showers are expected to extend northwards later in the day, with outbreaks of sleet and snow across the entire country overnight.

Some forecasters predict the worst snowfalls since 1982 are due to hit the country.

Schools are to remain open today, Monday.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Education said the department is continuing to monitor the situation nationwide.

A meeting of the national emergency co-ordination group  is due to be held later today and the department is represented on that committee.

According to Met Éireann a status yellow weather warning is in place until March 2 ahead of the plummeting temperatures. It is expected that temperatures will be between five and ten degrees below normal and the weather is set to get progressively worse as the week continues.

However a red alert may be issued depending on the timing of snowfall and winter showers.

Met Eireann have also urged people to consult their 'Be winter ready' booklet or the online resource.

The advice includes information for elderly people to ensure they "keep warm, eat well and avoid unnecessary travel". People are advised to check in on their elderly neighbours and loved ones ahead of adverse weather.

Sligo community activist Corey Whyte issued a homeless alert on social media.

"With severe weather over the coming days, please be aware of contact information should you see anyone Homeless. Nobody should be without a home, especially in such severe weather."

Sligo County Council
stated that 'current weather forecasts suggest a significant deterioration in temperatures for the western seaboard from early on Tuesday evening with freshening east to north east winds .

'These conditions are expected to continue into the weekend with day time temperatures struggling to get above 1 to 3 degrees 2 and significant snow fall possible.

'Sligo County Council staff will be fully engaged throughout this spell in gritting the road network in accordance with our Winter  Maintenance Plan.

'However road conditions over the coming days are likely to be very dangerous and all motorists must slow down and exercise caution particularly on local roads which will not be treated.'