The mercury is set to plummet over the coming days as conditions become progressively wintry heading into next week.
Met Éireann said that the chance of a repeat of the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ are slim – even though we could get widespread snow by mid-week, along with frost and ice.
While today will start off dry with sunny spells, showers will feed into eastern and western coastal counties throughout the morning and spread inland through the course of the day with daytime highs of 4C to 7C and a risk of wintry precipitation in the south west.
There is a risk of hail and isolated thunderstorms tonight as scattered showers move towards northern and eastern coasts.
Overnight temperatures will hover between –2C and 2C which may lead to frost and icy stretches that will clear by Saturday morning, according to Met Éireann.
Saturday will be a cold and cloudy day with scattered showers in the east that could progress to longer spells of rain and a risk of hail, with daytime highs between 4C and 7C.
But conditions will begin to shift by Sunday when daytime temperatures plummet to 2C to 5C, with a brisk northeast wind that will make it feel even colder.
And the mercury will dip even further by Sunday night with temperatures between 0C and -3C overnight, scattered wintry showers along eastern counties and northern coasts and a possible dusting of snow.
While eastern counties could see some snow flurries on Monday and Tuesday as conditions turn even colder, the real risk of any snow accumulation won’t occur until late Tuesday or Wednesday when snow showers expected in the east could lead to more than just a dusting of snow, says forecaster Aoife Kealy.
“During the second half of the week there is definitely a possibility of a widespread snowfall,” she told the Irish Independent.
But she downplayed predictions of a return to the blizzard-like conditions that left much of the eastern half of the country paralysed by heavy snowfalls and unusually low temperatures in February 2018, when a system sweeping in from the Irish Sea led to the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ storm.
“The Beast from the East was a deep enough depression over Western Europe whereas this system is bringing in colder air from the north,” she said.
“But we haven’t got a storm coming from the east.
“It’s not coming from the same direction, although there is still a chance of widespread snowfall but it’s not going to be of the same magnitude.”