Bitter end for mild winter as sub zero temperaturs hit
DON'T pack away the winter woollies just yet, as a spell of sub-zero temperatures and freezing nights is on the way.
Temperatures are due to drop to a chilly 3C to 6C by day and will fall as low as -5C at night this week.
Met Eireann forecaster Pat Clarke said Ireland would experience a plunge in temperatures coming after a relatively mild winter.
"It is going to get much colder, yet a lot of Europe will be much, much colder than here as we are out in the ocean so we won't fare as bad as other parts," Mr Clarke said.
He said the country was unlikely to be hit by a heavy snowfall due to a mild weather front over the Atlantic Ocean, which is halting the progress of a cold weather front moving in from Eastern Europe.
However, forecasters are warning of a risk of wintry showers along the east and south coasts next weekend.
"It is going to be a bit of a shock to the system," Mr Clarke said. "It is going to be a cold week.
"From the charts at the moment, it doesn't look like too much snow. It looks like it will land further to the east in central Europe and the coast of England is also under threat of snow showers."
Temperatures have been a few degrees above normal during the winter, with exceptionally high temperatures of 12C to 13C recorded on a number of days.
However, Mr Clarke said the period around the start of February often proved to be chilly, even during mild winters.