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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Thomas Telford & Rebecca Daly

Rare snow and ice phenomenon hits Ireland as Met Éireann puts 19 counties on Status Orange weather alert

Ireland’s arctic blast has resulted in an incredibly rare weather phenomenon forming in one county.

It’s usually found in very cold oceans and lakes, but this time it was found on a river.

A rare phenomenon called ice pancakes formed in Co Sligo as a result of the freezing temperatures in recent days.

Read more: Ireland braces for ‘extreme cold’ with new Status Orange warning in place as temperatures to drop as low as -11C

According to the United Kingdom’s Met Office, ice pancakes occur “where discs of ice anywhere from 20 - 200 cm wide are formed creating a unique spectacle”.

In the case in Sligo, they formed when foam on the river began to freeze and merge together as they were sucked into an eddy, which is a swirling current of water.

Other bits of foam and ice then get dragged in to form a disc and increase its size, Galway Beo reports.

It comes as Met Eireann issued a Status Orange weather warning for low temperature and ice warning on Wednesday night “with widespread temperatures below -5 degrees leading to severe frost and ice”.

The warning comes into effect at 6pm this evening, December 14, and covers Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, Leitrim and Roscommon.

A Status Yellow warning remains in place for the week until midday on Friday.

According to Met Eireann, possible impacts include “treacherous conditions on paths and roads, travel disruption, potential supply disruption, potential for burst water pipes and damage to engines, increased risks to vulnerable members of the community, animal welfare issues and slack winds over land leading to reduced wind power generation”.

Weather expert Alan O’Reilly of Carlow Weather warned that people living in Birr should expect temperatures to plummet as far as -11C.

“Latest update of HARMONIE model from Met Éireann shows -11c forecast for Thursday morning near Birr,” he wrote on Twitter.


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