No white Christmas but cold to continue
THE cold snap will continue into Monday but there is no possibility of a white Christmas.
Met Eireann said last night that, despite temperatures being lower than normal, wet and warm weather would hit the country from Tuesday and Santa was unlikely to see snow this year.
Icy conditions and widespread frost made for hazardous driving across much of the country yesterday, with the north, north-west and west badly affected.
There was snow in parts of Leitrim, while snow and ice left dozens of roads impassable across the south-west as temperatures plummeted.
Arctic conditions caused chaos during peak morning traffic -- with delays of up to an hour on some routes around Cork city.
Gardai warned that numerous routes were left virtually impassable due to snow and ice. But while the weekend will be cold, normal temperatures should return on Tuesday.
"It will be cold today and tomorrow with showers affecting north, north-west and westerly areas and you could see the odd snow shower anywhere," forecaster Joanna Donnelly said.
"Temperatures will be around 3C or 4C which is a couple of degrees colder than usual and there will be icy patches on the roads.
"But on Monday there will be rain and a return to more normal temperatures."
Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will range between 7C-10C, increasing on Wednesday.
"It doesn't look at this stage like we're going to have a white Christmas," Ms Donnelly added.
However, groups representing the elderly said that even with milder temperatures on the way, many older people would be unable to leave their homes and would need help.
"If you know someone who might be in this situation, Age Action is asking you to contact them and see what help they need," a spokesman said.