It’s a snowstorm that remains fresh in the memory, and now its cousin is threatening to be just as mean and fierce three years on.The Beast from the East is returning next week, and it looks like it will bring its full chilling arsenal. The pending arrival of snow and ice from the second incarnation of the Siberian powerhouse has led to the unusual step of authorities and weather experts to warn the public days in advance.
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) says it is liaising with local authorities to prepare for a severe weather response if necessary.
Met Éireann has warned there is a potential for a significant snow event next week.
Our weather is expected to turn progressively colder from early on Sunday 7th February, with the cold spell now looking likely to last well into next week. Read more here in
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) February 4, 2021
The NDFEM and the national forecaster briefed local authorities early on Friday morning. They said the relevant Government departments were making contingency plans.
A cold front from Siberia will move in from the east and meet with a low-pressure system, resulting in snow, with the most severe conditions expected on Wednesday and Friday.
The national forecaster said severe frost and ice will settle from Sunday and into early next week, with falls of sleet and snow also expected.
Very cold conditions, with widespread frost and ice, are forecast on Sunday night, with temperatures dropping to around -3C.
Alan O’Reilly from Carlow Weather said we could see a repeat of Storm Emma in 2018.
He said: “So the potential there I suppose will be in some ways similar to what we saw with Storm Emma, where you have a low system that comes and meets the cold air and stalls and you end up with high accumulations of very heavy snow extending into most areas.”
The Beast from the East caused widespread disruption in February 2018. Picture: Dan Linehan
With forecasters predicting conditions similar to Storm Emma, widespread disruptions are predicted for the latter half of the week.
Cathal Nolan, founder of Irelands Weather Channel, said the heaviest snow is likely to fall on Wednesday and Friday.
“We’re keeping a very close eye on two particular systems that were picked up by various weather models,” he said.
“They seem to bring a spell of more prolonged and organised snow into the country, certainly on Wednesday and then the models did pick up on a similar event occurring on Friday.”
Mr Nolan added the two systems could bring widespread disruption and some heavy snowfalls right across the country.
“If they continue to play out over the course of the coming days as they have done … then certainly there does exist the potential for a snow event next week on par with that experienced in 2018.”
Irish Water and local authorities have urged homes and businesses to check for leaks and to conserve water where possible ahead of the event.

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