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Cold Spell (of depth and duration uncertain!) starting Tuesday 7th March

  • 03-03-2023 3:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭

    Hi all

    Appreciate I will get criticism for starting this thread but I'm starting as:-

    1. Cold spell threads are fun (even when they are a bust)
    2. Its the last hurrah for this winter (and see 1 above)
    3. There are a lot of us following, specifically, the potential for cold next week and having to post about it on the technical charts - which isn't correct
    4. I said on a thread about 3 days ago that someone would open a thread - and so I'm now doing it to make my own prediction come true!
    5. Most importantly, because the current indications mean there is chance we will see an event next week actually worthy of its own thread.

    On that there is lots of model uncertainty. There seems to a general consensus now (and apologies for the non technical description, I'm not one of the more knowledgeable posters) that will see artic air descend from the N/NE over the entire country overnight Monday into Tuesday 7 March. I think there is a consensus also that it will be, to use a technical term, bloody cold on Tuesday.

    Beyond that the consensus ends. The ECM, the most reliable model, has it as a 1 day "event" only before mild air pushes back in. Even as a one day event it might be pretty forgettable with no snow and, in truth, nothing remarkable in terms of temps, etc.

    The GFS, being the American model, is far less reliable but, for what it is worth, has the spell lasting several days.

    Moreover, all the models are flipping here and there and clearly it is a knife edge situation as to what happens after Wednesday.

    The most up to date charts we have are the 6z GFS. They do show fairly notable weather for next Tuesday morning. I've pasted the charts for 7am below and they show temps down to -6, windchill adjusted temps down to -10, upper temps over the country of -8 and below as well as thickness values that would easily support snow if there was the precipitation.

    Snow prospects definitely best for northern areas at first. If the spell is prolonged though there is always the holy grail scenario of atlantic fronts pushing up against, and ultimately sliding under, the cold air leading to a potential white gold fest. Highly unlikely but...

    Just as a teaser, here's a chart of 10 March on the 6z GFS showing sneachta as far south as this here county (and yes, its only 1cm)

    So all in all, there's definitely a good chance this could be a whole load of nothing, but there is a chance it could be something more than that and worthy of a thread.

    If it turns out to be a bust, so be it, its fun to post anyway....

    Post edited by Meteorite58 on



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,823 ✭✭✭Cluedo Monopoly

    Good on you Rebel! I am beginning to believe...

    What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭sparrowcar


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭Rebelbrowser

    Its probably telling that Kermit hasn't opened a thread alright!

  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭konman

    @Rebelbrowser at least its there for the archives if nothing else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    Roll on April!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭Rebelbrowser

    12z GFS still similar but both the 12z GEM and JMA have it as a 2 day affair. What's the record for the shortest thread ever started. Not asking for any reason.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 912 ✭✭✭WolfeEire
    Clare (410ft asl)

    Slider low still in the shakeup, Rebel. Keep the faith

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,504 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    How long before the words 'Cork snow shield' get uttered?! 🤔😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭Rebelbrowser

    ECM actually much better. Cold is still there on Wednesday and is putting up much more of a battle on Thursday so the slider low a runner there also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭Rebelbrowser

    Actually in the unlikely event of the slider low coming off Cork will be well positioned (though North Munster and south Leinster may be best placed)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,926 ✭✭✭pauldry

    It could be somewhat longer in Ulster but less than a full 24 hours for most of the country before maybe another cold blast at the weekend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,089 ✭✭✭StrawbsM

    No idea on all the weather terminology but I’m posting just to boost your thread numbers, rebel 😂

    I’ve got a VERY long awaited NCT on Wednesday in Donegal so I hope the snow isn’t not too bad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,823 ✭✭✭Cluedo Monopoly

    What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭.Donegal.

    ECM Monday 1pm and the cold air is knocking on the door of the north coast



    By Thursday there’s a huge contrast. Uppers of 2c touching the extreme South coast and -8 over the northern third.

    Friday is pretty similar

    By Saturday -6 uppers cling to the far north but milder air is beginning to have more of a presence across the country

    Small distances and big margins. It will chop and change as ever. Let’s see how it plays out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,910 ✭✭✭JanuarySnowstor

    Nice to see the thread opened!!

    I'll focus mainly on Cork for this one. Two decent shots from what I can see. Firstly on Monday night ppn seems to move South and if anything intensify before clearing on Tuesday. Nearly all models show this and could well be our best chance in seeing snow next week. (Telling that Gerry Murphy while saying little had snow symbol over the Southwest for then) The beeb also mentioned a wave forming over Cornwall for this timeframe which is same system. So watch this closely!!

    The second event is for Wed night and Thursday and many options remain on the table. BUT for now all we can go with is the favoured option which is for the low to move across the South Coast but not displacing the cold air. Somewhere across the South is likely to get disruptive snow from this particularly South Midlands.

    I think Gerry mentioned it turning colder on tonight's broadcast. Sitting on the fence I guess which is fair enough. Doesn't bother me the warnings will come eventually! What does annoy me though is how the risk isn't even mentioned unlike UK Met who admit snow is likely but they can't tell where.....honest information on a risk that may or may not happen.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,876 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    I wouldn't be too critical of MÉ being circumspect about these things, its all far too marginal in terms of precip in this neck of the woods, whereas Scotland, by comparison, is in a prime position to have significant mountain snows.

    The battleground scenario for next Wednesday to Friday is certainly interesting though, could be some heavy snow for a very short amount of time in Munster and South Leinster, with maybe 30 or 40 kilometres making all the difference between a good plastering and cold drizzle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭Rebelbrowser

    Again, I'm no expert but it is basically when a low pressure rain front comes up against a sitting pool of cold air but instead of just displacing the cold, it essentially gets somewhat repelled - given our lows usual travel west to east what usually happens in that scenario here is that the rain front "slides" under the cold block and the, say, 50km band of land over which the airmasses meet can see the rain turn to snow (sometimes called a rain to snow event on these threads).

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 11,902 Mod ✭✭✭✭Meteorite58

    Thanks Reblebrowser for starting the thread, no doubt lots of uncertainty , when is there any certainty especially with snow in Ireland and March to boot! But too many signs to ignore with the forecasted cold and possibility of snow at times 😀

    First spell of interesting weather in a long while. Definitely a battleground situation over Ireland but that is where you want it for snow in a set up like this and as said above the margins are on a knife-edge. Huge cold to tap into, track of LP systems and the associated fronts will be eagerly followed no doubt over the coming days. Certainly a chance of a dump of snow or two ( currently looking around Thurs and the weekend is possible further North ). How far the fronts will progress into the cold will be interesting. Will also have snow showers and hail showers in their own right drifting on to the coasts and further inland coming from the instability over the sea. The LP's look deeper on the GFS which would give breezy to windy conditions at times leading to some notable sharp Windchill's.

    Some very sharp frosts during the week possible which must be of concern to farmers and horticulturists. Could get some big temperature contrasts between the North and the south of the country at times, ECM showing 10 to 12C in the Saturday and 1 or 2C in the North for a time.

    Be it snow or rain the ECM is showing accumulations higher than recent times but probably around average for the time of the year, heaviest in the S of the country. It will put an end to the gorse fires if anything!

    So, much debating and scrutiny of the charts and forecasts over the coming days .

  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭AnFearCeart

    Basically we stay on the northern flank of the low pressure centre as it crosses from Mizen Head to St. Davids in Wales if you can draw a line. The low slides under or keeps south of the high pressure to the north.

    You want lows running in along the blue arrows to help keep the cold north east flow coming.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Moderator Posts: 2,505 Mod ✭✭✭✭The Ritz

    Thanks @Rebelbrowser for starting the thread, I’m here for the incomprehensible techno talk and the lovely colouredy moving maps :-)

    Definitely the fun thread, and probably the last chance this year ?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭Rebelbrowser

    JS, hadn't noticed it til you said it but the 18z GFS (which prolongs the cold to Fri/Sat) really does show snow falling, especially in Munster, as the cold front clears away south on Tuesday. Interestingly.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,592 ✭✭✭giveitholly

    Was wondering why the T120+ thread was so quite until I discovered this one

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,910 ✭✭✭JanuarySnowstor

    It sure does, usually these fronts fade as they cross the country but this one if anything intensifies. Very deep cold racing in behind it should catch up!! Could be the best chance of the cold spell

    Perhaps we've nothing to worry about though, Gerry said turning cooler next week with temps of 4 to 8C. We'll soon see who's right

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,678 ✭✭✭✭nacho libre

    It looks like it could stay cold in Scotland throughout. We will turn milder, that looks inevitable now, but hopefully somewhere in the country gets a right dumping before that happens. In any case we may get a second round of cold pushing south a few days after the milder turn.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,910 ✭✭✭JanuarySnowstor

    Jma also has quite a lot off ppn for Monday night. Certainly one to watch

  • Registered Users Posts: 541 ✭✭✭weatherfiend

    Uh oh!!!! Hope the rugby guys have their long-johns with them 🫣

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,574 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    I'll kick of the travel questions. 😂

    I've to travel from Kerry to Dublin Thursday leaving at 5am. Returning early afternoon. What kind of weather am I expecting?

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,876 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    Nobody can tell you that with any certainty at all, at this remove.

    The most likely right now is cold and quite calm, but not especially icy by day in a light northerly flow. The motorways will be well gritted for your early departure.

    Given the road journey is mostly at low level, disruption is currently unlikely, but a push of mild and more moist air against the colder flow could result in some sleet and snow on the boundary.

    Honestly, the whole thing is so marginal it could be any outcome in the range being discussed. By Tuesday you should have a fair idea what to expect and the State forecasters will have had to pick a winner by then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,136 ✭✭✭Rebelbrowser

    Way too early to tell tbh. Could be mild or freezing, depends which model is right. Better idea by Monday

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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    There has been no wind in the longest time. So QUIET without it. Dry too ...

This discussion has been closed.