Possibility of white Easter as snow and ice expected next week
Jet stream is further north which means colder air than is normal for time of year
Met Éireann says Ireland is likely to see some snow in the later part of next week, although it will be relatively light. Photograph: Collins
The clocks go forward by an hour at the weekend raising expectations that this long, cold winter is at an end.
However, those expectations are likely stalled with another sharp cold snap forecast to hit Ireland late next week.
This will be the third such spell of severe cold in recent weeks.
The British Met Office is predicting widespread snow for Easter Sunday saying it is “most likely” over the northern half of Britain. This weather system will also affect Ireland.
Met Éireann forecaster Harm Luijkx said on Friday while he was reluctant to mention the “s” word, Ireland was also likely to see some snow in the later part of next week, although it will be relatively light.
Any snow is likely to fall in northern and in easterly parts of the country and based on current predictions, is not likely to accumulate except on higher ground.
Mr Luijkx said the continuing cold weather in Ireland was the result of atmospheric turbulence which had forced the jet stream to drift to the north of Ireland.
During this winter and spring the jet stream had become disturbed and “Ireland is stuck on the wrong side of it,” he said.
He said a similar weather phenomenon in 2013 had also resulted in a colder than normal Spring.
When the jet stream is over Ireland it brings the mild and wet weather normally associated with this time of year.
Mr Luijkx said the bad news was this weather pattern showed little sign of changing over the next week which meant snow was possible next week.
“It’s really bad luck,” explained Mr Luijkx. “People will be annoyed with us, but we are only the messenger.”
This weekend will see a brief hiatus from the cold.
Temperatures will be around 8 and 11 degrees, normal for the time of year, with sunny spells and scattered showers forecast.
However, at night temperatures will fall to below zero at night in many places.
This weather will change during the middle of next week with biting easterly winds, which have kept temperatures well below normal for the time of year, settling over the country.
Day time temperatures for the second half of the week will drop to between 3 and 6 degrees by day before falling sharply on Wednesday and Thursday nights with a hard frost and temperatures of minus 4 expected.