Brrr. It is SO GODDAMN COLD out there. The Beast from the East is making its presence firmly felt today, with up to 10cm of snow recorded in Ireland and freezing temperatures.
With a Red weather warning already in place for Dublin, Meath, Wicklow, Louth and Kildare, the arrival of Storm Emma tomorrow is expected to bring 25cm of snow. Yikes.
So how does this snow kerfuffle compare to five of Ireland’s worst?
The great Irish snowfall of 1917
The huge snowfall in April 1917 led to many people being cut off for days.
Snow lay to an estimated depth of 1.3 m with drifts of 3.0 m and were the heaviest since February, 1892, and probably
the heaviest in the whole 50 years (back to 1876).
The Big Freeze of 1947
Wartime rations still in place meant that the “freak” freeze of 1947 led to an estimated 600 deaths.
There was 30 days of snowfall recorded between January and March and people were cut off in certain parts of the country for days.
The severe cold spell of 1963
There were snow depths of 45 cm recorded in the winter of 1963 with snow falling in Wicklow, Waterford, Wexford, Cork, Tipperary, Limerick, Kildare and Kilkenny, while the Limerick Leader reported that for the first time in living memory the
frozen River Shannon could be crossed on foot near the city.
Snowfall of 1982
Strong easterly winds, reaching gale force in some coastal areas, caused extensive and deep snowdrifts, particularly in the east.
Snow reached 26cm and Ireland was covered in snow for three weeks, with motorists having to be rescued on the Naas Dual Carriage Way.
The cold winter of 2009/10
Ireland’s air temperatures fell below -10°C in places
and several stations recorded their lowest winter values
for more than 20 years.
This particular cold spell was notable for being the earliest spell of significant
duration (started in November) and lasted until January.
Hmm… We’ve a feeling this week’s snow storm might just be up there with these top five…