Forecasters issue three weather warnings as St Patrick's Day is to be hit by icy conditions
- Possible snow and sleet showers on St Patrick's Day
- Met Éireann issues Status Yellow alert for heavy rainfall over next 24 hours
- It's not a return of the 'Beast from the East' - but temperatures will plunge
St Patrick's Day revellers have been warned to prepare for icy conditions with possible snow and sleet showers.
The warning came as Met Éireann issued a Status Yellow alert for heavy rainfall predicted over the next 24 hours. The warning, which is in place until tonight, covers Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.
Met Éireann warned that rainfall could reach 50mm or more in some areas with a risk of localised flooding.
Worst hit will be mountainous areas across Munster. However, the forecast for St Patrick's Day is dominated by another icy front moving over Ireland from Eastern Europe.
The front won't bring conditions anything like as harsh as 'The Beast from the East' two weeks ago, but will ensure temperatures are between four and six degrees below normal for St Patrick's weekend.
Parts of Leinster can also expect snow and sleet showers as temperatures drop to freezing overnight.
However, the snow showers are not expected to be anything like the blizzard-like conditions of Storm Emma and are unlikely to interfere with any parades. Marchers and onlookers will face potentially bracing conditions - and have been warned to dress accordingly.
The good news is that the weather front will bring dry spells for large parts of Ireland for Saturday and the peak St Patrick's Day marching programme. However, it will also result in the weather from Friday through to Sunday being exceptionally cold.
In parts of Ulster and Leinster, maximum temperatures will climb to just 2C. It will be warmer in Munster and Connacht where temperatures will rise to 5C or 6C. Most areas will experience heavy overnight frost, the worst of which will be in Dublin, north Leinster and Ulster.
The icy conditions will last throughout Sunday and possibly as long as the middle of next week. However, Ireland can spare a thought for Massachusetts in the United States where Logan Airport in Boston had to close yesterday as a major storm swept in and dropped more than 60cm of snow across the region.
All flights from Ireland to Logan Airport and other airports in the Boston region were cancelled yesterday because of the Arctic-like conditions.
Weather conditions in Boston are expected to ease by Friday but those travelling to St Patrick's Day parades in Massachusetts have been warned of knock-on delays because of the airport closure.