THE Beast from the East has officially arrived.
A Status Red severe weather warning has been issued for much of Leinster and schools and businesses around the country have been closed.
But what exactly does a red weather warning mean – and yellow & orange for that matter? Let’s take a look…
Status Yellow: Be Aware
Yellow level weather alerts are for weather conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the general population.
They are issued to those at risk because of their location and/or activity, and to allow them to know the dangers.
Status Orange: Be Prepared
Orange level weather alerts are for when weather conditions have the capacity to impact significantly on people in affected areas.
They are issued so that people in the worst-hit parts of the country can prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.
Status Red: Take Action
Red level weather alerts are the highest warnings that can be issued.
They are for when people in affected areas need to take action to protect themselves and their properties.
This could include moving families out of the danger zone temporarily, staying indoors or taking specific actions to mitigate the effects of weather conditions – such as sandbags to prevent flooding, gritting for icy driveways and so on.
Why's it a Status Red warning now?
The Status Red alert issued this morning for Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath will expire at 12pm on Thursday.
The warning was issued as snowfall exceeded 8cm or more, with the accumulation of ice causing paths and roads to become slippery, particularly on untreated surfaces – with the situation likely to worsen.
Temperatures between 2c and -10c should be expected later tonight.