Arctic winds to bring winter freeze
Parts of Ulster will have snow tomorrow and the rest of the north of the country is also threatened as a cold snap develops.
Ireland has escaped the worst of the bitter easterly winds which have brought freezing temperatures to continental Europe and Britain over the last week.
However, that will change tomorrow morning when the cold easterly air meets an Atlantic front bringing flurries of snow to Ulster and parts of north Leinster and north Connacht.
Heavy rain of up to 25mm will push in from the south tonight and gradually spread to the whole country leading to the risk of spot flooding.
Met Éireann forecaster Joan Blackburn said the risk of snow is greatest at higher levels and it is unclear yet as to whether or not the cold easterly winds will keep temperatures low enough for the snow to remain on the ground.
The weekend too is promised bitterly cold with day time temperatures of no more than three to six degrees while there will be heavy frosts with temperatures as low as minus four degrees particularly in the northern half of the country.
The cold weather will remain next week and there is a chance of further snow showers on Monday and Tuesday across the northern half of the country.
Ms Blackburn said the weather is hard to predict as it is unclear yet whether the cold air to the east will become established over Ireland or whether it will drift in or out.
“We are not yet in the grip of the really cold air, but we are on the border, that’s why it is problematic,” she said.
The easterly parts of England have been worst affected by the weather with temperatures as low as minus 12 in East Anglia overnight while temperatures did not rise above freezing in London this morning.
A blanket of snow is expected to cover Britain tomorrow with up to 30cm falling on higher ground, amid fears the latest bout of wintry weather will bring the transport network to its knees.
Temperatures are expected to remain below zero in large parts of the UK on what is predicted to be a particularly “messy” day for travel.
Blizzards and strong winds are set to make conditions treacherous on the roads and motorists were warned heavy snow would arrive before the morning rush hour.
The UK Met Office has issued a “red” severe weather warning for heavy snow in upland parts of southern Wales. Amber alerts were in place for the Midlands, London and the South, the east of England, the North West and Northern Ireland.
Additional reporting PA