A Status Yellow snow and ice warning is now in effect for Kildare.
A snow-ice warning for much of the northern half of the country has just been upgraded by Met Eireann to Status Orange.
It applies to Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Longford, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.
Between 4 and 8 centimetres of snow are expected this evening, tonight and tomorrow.
The RSA is reminding drivers to brake gently and leave plenty of distance from the vehicle in front, as stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow.
However Met Eireann Meteorologist Pat Clark says the early hours of this evening will probably be OK for most commuters:
Kildare County Council has published the following advisory:
"The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extra care when using the roads as Met Éireann has issued a yellow weather warning for scattered snow showers and icy conditions from 4pm today until 4pm on Friday.
Slight to moderate accumulations of snow are possible with up to 3cm in parts. Icy stretches are also expected. Areas of high ground and the North and North-west counties will be most at risk. Lower temperatures will mean roads may be icy with a risk of black ice.
The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip. The RSA has the following advice for road users, when driving in icy and snowy conditions:
· Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out, carry a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
· Watch out for “black ice.” If the road looks polished or glossy it could be, black ice” one of winter’s worst hazards: Black Ice is difficult to see! It is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. It can occur especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
· Use dipped headlights at all times to ensure you are seen by other motorists.
· Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space.
· Remove ALL snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey. Snow left on the roof will become loose and can drop onto the windscreen during braking, thereby causing sudden and severe restriction to your vision. It can also fall off during your drive and cause injury to pedestrians or a reflex action by another driver.
· In snow and icy conditions slow down, use all controls delicately and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Avoid over steering and harsh braking and harsh acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
· Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front (Target Fixing). This can give a false sense of security and you will be too close to be able to brake safely. In heavy fog, turn off your radio and let down your driver’s window a fraction, so as you can hear other traffic.
· The best thing to do in extremely bad weather is to stay off the road. Take heed of warnings not to go out and travel only if absolutely necessary. This leaves the emergency services free to deal with real emergencies.
· With sunny spells also forecast for certain parts of the country, drivers are reminded of the danger posed by ‘sun glare’. Minimize risk by wearing sun glasses, ensuring your windscreen is clear of grease or grime inside and out and adding windshield washer fluid to the water in the reservoir.
Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to:
· While walking on footpaths and in public places, or entering and exiting your vehicle, don’t underestimate the danger of ice. Many slips and falls happen in places people regard as safe and secure, typically outside their front door, on the door step, on the path or while getting out of the car. Take extra care.
For advice on severe weather driving tips, please see severe weather advice on the RSA website
or check out the RSA Facebook
For further weather updates, visit Met Eireann’s website www.met.ie"