THE Irish public have been warned to avoid the Wicklow Mountains this weekend due to an avalanche alert.
Metalert Ireland issued a severe climber/hiker warning last night with higher temperatures set to increase the thawing process and lead to problematic conditions in upland areas.
Gardaí and the Dublin Wicklow and Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue are urging motorists to keep away from the region as vehicles continue to block access for their teams.
The Sally Gap is completely impassable due to snow, they added.
An avalanche alert remains in place this week and weekend and the risk will continue well into next week.
Extremely deep snow drifts remain in areas above 400m, with a risk of flooding downstream and downriver.
Coillte have also advised the public that a number of car parks and recreational areas are closed as they are inaccessible due to snow and are likely to remain closed for some time.
Meanwhile, Metalert Ireland have also discounted claims that a ‘Pest From The West’ cold weather system will occur over the weekend.
“It’s not happening and it was never happening. No snowstorm and no blizzard conditions this weekend,” they wrote on Facebook.
In fact it will be quite a mild by mid-afternoon on Saturday and Sunday! Values of 9c to 13c in Leinster, Connacht and Munster and possibly cooler in Ulster with values of 8c to 10c.
A risk of sleet during overnight hours in Ulster.
“Mixed back of breezy conditions and rain at times with some heavy downpours over the weekend. Feeling altogether spring-like at times in direct sunshine.”