'Rare phenomenon' of freezing fog and freezing rain as temperatures plummet tonight
Weekend temperatures are set to plummet to as low as -6 degrees
Severe frost and freezing fog and rain is expected to develop tonight as temperatures are set to plummet to between zero and -5 degrees.
Met Eireann have predicted that the semi-rare phenomenon of freezing fog will form as the land cools further overnight under clear skies.
Freezing rain, meanwhile, occurs when rain droplets fall through a layer of much colder air than the rain itself and freeze, hitting the ground as frozen drops and forming clear ice, known as glaze.
In the latest cold snap to grip Ireland, orange and yellow snow-ice warnings remained in effect until midday today for west Munster, Connacht, Ulster and north Leinster.
Accumulations of snow of between 2 and 8 cm fell in at least nine counties in these areas - and the adverse weather conditions has had knock effects nationwide.
Schoolchildren in Cavan have cause to celebrate as over twenty schools in the county have announced their closure for the day.
Temperatures are to fall below freezing tonight. Please drive with extreme caution, keep your distance, allow more time to brake, Drive safe— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) January 15, 2016
Here are the full list of schools affected in Cavan: St Bridgets NS Laragh; Butlersbridge NS, Billis NS, New Inns; Drumcrave NS; Killinkere NS; Knoctemple NS Virginia; Ballynarry NS; The Loreto College, Cavan; The Royal School, Cavan; Swanlinbar Daycare Centre; St. Patrick's College, Cavan; Saint Michael's NS, Clifferna; Drumkilly NS; Crubany NS; St Claire's College, Ballyjamesduff; Crosskeys NS; Clogher house Day Activation unit, Rathcorrick; Virginia Day Services Disability Services, at Virginia Health care unit; Breffni College, Cavan; Virginia College, Cavan; Moyne Community School; Kilnaleck NS.
Meanwhile, commuters have been advised to take extreme caution as widespread ice and snow have been reported across the country.
As temperatures sank as low as -1 last night, this morning began very cold with frost and icy patches on the roads which were slow to clear.
While the majority of the country is set to remain dry today, rain and sleet showers are expected to fall in some north and western counties.
The southwest regions will also see some rain or drizzle as the afternoon progresses.
Motorists have also been warned to take additional care on the roads with the severe frost and freezing fog leading to treacherous icy roads tonight.
AA Roadwatch have reported that road temperatures are below zero in many areas and as low as -3.7°C on the M7 Dublin/ Limerick Rd near J22 Roscrea.
They have warned drivers that stopping distances in snow and ice "are ten times longer".
"Slow down, drive with extreme care and leave additional time to complete your journey," an AA spokesperson warns.
Tomorrow, widespread frost is expected to hit the country, and temperatures will plummet to as low as -6 degrees at night over the weekend.
Widespread ice and snow, road temps below zero in many areas and as low as -3.7°C on the M7 near J22 Roscrea. https://t.co/qvBPcgxUj8— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) January 15, 2016
Meanwhile, a rare January hurricane formed in the Atlantic yesterday - the first to form in this month since 1938.
A hurricane warning was issued for Portugal's Azores Islands as Alex's winds speeds reached close to 134 km/h.
The US National Hurricane Centre has reported that Hurricane Alex, currently located over 400 miles south of Faial Island, is expected to move close to the Azores later today.