Seven counties in Ireland on snow alert as Storm Emma approaches
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Seven counties in Ireland on snow alert as Storm Emma approaches

SEVEN counties have been put on an orange weather alert as Ireland prepares for what could be the worst snowfall in 36 years.

A snow and ice warning is now in place for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Wicklow and Meath as Storm Emma approaches Europe.

The Portuguese met service has now officially named the next storm due to hit our shores this week bringing strong winds and heavy snow in its wake.

Met Éireann has forecast scattered snow showers on Tuesday and into Tuesday night, with 4-6cms of snow expected to stick by Wednesday morning.

It also says there will be widespread front and icy conditions, with temperatures expected to drop to -7 degrees later in the week in parts of the country.

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Britain is also facing its coldest period in a number of years with yellow and amber weather warnings in place.

Night time temperatures will be expected to be as low as - 8 °C.

Met Office Chief Forecaster, Frank Saunders, said: “Parts of England and Wales are likely to see their coldest spell of weather since at least 2013 – perhaps 1991.

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"This will lead to dangerous conditions on roads and pavements and have an impact on people’s health.

"There is the potential for disruptive snowfall in many parts of the country throughout the week with the areas most at risk being eastern England and  eastern Scotland. Transport disruption is likely in areas with significant snowfall.

“With such low temperatures, snowfall is likely to be powdery, bringing the risk of drifting in the strong easterly winds. However, the air is so dry that hoar frost and ice will be less likely to form.”