IF you're dreaming of a white Christmas, you might be in luck.
Bookies have slashed their odds following an avalanche of bets in recent days. Ladbrokes is offering odds of 25/1 for the M50 motorway to be closed for a day due to snow by the end of 2012. And at 5/2, Dublin is the shortest priced city in the country for a white Christmas, followed by Galway at 7/1.
"This is a popular festive flutter, and with severe frost forecast in Dublin this weekend, the chances of us paying out on a white Christmas are rising all the time," Ladbrokes' Hayley O'Connor told the Irish Independent.
Meanwhile, forecasters say the much-feared 'big freeze' expected this week is to remain largely at bay, apart from sub-zero temperatures at night.
Met Eireann said it would remain unsettled and changeable for the rest of the week, with the mercury dipping below zero at night, leaving dangerous frost on many roads.
"It will certainly be cold at night, with frost and icy roads. From midweek we'll see some cloud and rain and wet snow but that will be temporary and won't last very long.
"The weekend will be much milder with rain in parts," explained Gerald Fleming.
"We can expect daytime temperatures of five to seven degrees, while at night it could get as low as minus two."
Temperatures plunged to a low of -4 on Sunday night as a cold snap swept in from the northeast. Mr Fleming said motorists should be extra cautious over the coming days – especially after dark – with the possibility of ice and black ice on the roads.
Cold and dry weather is on the cards today, with sporadic bursts of rainfall expected along the Kerry and Cork coasts.
The cold snap will continue until tomorrow, followed by wet and dreary conditions affecting most parts towards the latter part of the week.
Motorists have been advised to take special care behind large vehicles due to spray, to use dipped headlights and to stay four seconds behind the vehicle ahead. Pedestrians have been advised to stay visible, to walk on a footpath or to walk on the right-hand side of the road facing traffic if there are no footpaths available.