Met Eireann have issued an urgent weather warning for Ireland as -4°C ‘polar front’ hits the country.
A ‘cold polar airmass’ is expected to hit Ireland this week bringing “sharp to severe frosts and icy stretches” in parts of the country.
As the cold front sweeps Ireland, weather experts have said that temperatures will drop below freezing and the country could see its first snow of the winter this week.
Cold front to hit Ireland – first snow of the winter
The sharp change in Ireland’s weather will be caused by the ‘amplification of the polar jetstream over the North Atlantic’ and a blocking high-pressure system, which will cause polar air to flow south towards Ireland and northwestern Europe.
As one Met Eireann forecaster explained, “A significant change in our weather pattern will occur this week with a cold polar maritime airmass sweeping across the country.
“A cold front will extend southeastwards across Ireland on Tuesday night, and this will mark the beginning of a noticeably colder and more wintry spell of weather.
However, as this cold air moves over the relatively warm seas of the North Atlantic, the depth of cold will be modified resulting in a wintry mix with snowfall mainly restricted to high ground, but with some snowfall to lower levels possible at times later this week.”
Today’s forecast – what to expect in the next 24 hours
Today’s weather forecast for Ireland shows a risk of hail in places, followed by a freezing night.
Light rain in the east and southeast cleared early on Wednesday morning, followed by a mostly dry morning with sunny spells.
However, throughout the day, blustery showers are expected to spread in the northwest with some in the west turning heavy and bringing a risk of hail.
Daytime temperatures are expected to reach highs of 5°C (41°F) to 8°C (46.4°F), with coldest temperatures in Ulster.
Temperatures overnight are set to reach lows of 0°C (32°F) to 3°C (37.4°F), and heavy rain spells are due in the southern half of the country while widespread showers are expected to persist throughout the rest of the island.
Heading into the weekend – from tomorrow on
Thursday is set to be a very cold day with daytime temperatures reaching between just 2°C (35.6°F) to 4°C (39.2°F), and freezing lows of -4°C (24.8°F) on Thursday night.
Heavy showers will be widespread in the morning before becoming confined to the western half of the country throughout the day.
Wintry showers will spread over western coastal areas on Thursday night. But drier spells elsewhere in the country could lead to ground frost and icy patches on Friday.
The cold weather is set to persist as we head into the weekend with lows of -3°C (26.6°F) on Sunday night.
Saturday is set to be largely dry and bright across the country with highs of 6°C (42.8°F) to 8°C (46.4°F) and odd wintry showers in coastal areas.
Sunday is also set to be a mostly dry day with sunny spells and highs of 3°C (37.4°F) to 7°C (44.6°F). Similar showers to Saturday in coastal areas.
Cold weather and showers are expected to continue into next week.