First snow shortens odds on white Christmas
IT'S too early to say if we can expect a white Christmas this year, according to Met Eireann.
But that hasn't stopped some bookmakers from slashing the odds on snow despite one of the warmest autumns on record.
Bookies had been offering 6/1 odds on snow on December 25 -- but Ladbrokes has cut odds to 4/1 in Dublin and Galway and 5/1 in Cork.
The first really icy blast of winter hit many areas in the north and northwest -- including Donegal, Sligo, Mayo and Cavan -- with their first snowfall yesterday. Up to two inches of snow fell on high ground overnight.
There was also snow on higher ground in parts of the south and southeast. More showers were expected to sweep across the north and northwest last night, bringing up to an inch of snow, along with showers of hail and sleet.
Some roads, especially on higher ground, were slick with frost and black ice yesterday morning.
Similar conditions are expected today when the temperature is expected to dip to -2 degrees overnight.
Much of Leinster and east Munster was spared the icy showers yesterday and enjoyed spells of bright sunshine, despite temperatures hovering between just 2 and 4 degrees.
Although it will remain cold, between 4 and 9 degrees today, Met Eireann meteorologist Joan Blackburn said temperatures will slowly rise towards evening as a band of rain, which may start off as sleet or hail, moves in from the Atlantic late this afternoon and evening.
But forecasters are not expecting a repeat of last year's Big Freeze, Ms Blackburn said.
"The overall weather scene for the week is cold and unsettled," she added.