Revellers to ring in 2019 with mildest weather in decades
But colder conditions on the way during January, forecasters warn
Mother Nature is set to gift revellers the mildest weather for New Year's Eve festivities in decades.
Party-goers will welcome 2019 with exceptionally mild and dry conditions at a host of festivals and events across the country.
Temperatures will reach as high as 9C or 10C and, critically, there will be generally dry conditions over Dublin and the east coast where the biggest New Year's Eve festivals are planned.
Met Éireann's Liz Walsh said the mild conditions will last for most of the week, with New Year's Day also set to prove dry but cloudy.
The weather will turn cooler by Friday with a risk of frost in some inland areas.
However, Met Éireann played down fears that Ireland could now be heading towards another spell of Siberian weather comparable to the 'Beast from the East' as claimed by some internet forecasters because of "sudden stratospheric warming".
This is when there is an abrupt hike in temperatures high up in the stratosphere which can sometimes lead to a spell of cold and snowy weather. But the national forecaster warned it is far too early to make any predictions about such weather.
January is expected to prove much colder than the exceptionally mild Christmas period.
For New Year's Eve revellers, the only negative is a slight risk of drizzle across some parts of the west coast.
Dublin will host Ireland's main New Year's Eve party, with 50,000 people expected to take to the streets to welcome in 2019.
The main event will be a concert by Gavin James at 8pm tonight on Custom House Quay.
From 6pm, a special 'Liffey Lights Extravaganza' will take place along the river with lasers and aqua beams creating a thrilling New Year countdown.
In Cork, the festive focus will be indoors with special masquerade balls in the Metropole Hotel and Cork International Airport Hotel, while The Hothouse Flowers will play a New Year's Eve gig in Cork Opera House.
A number of city venues, including Electric, are hosting special New Year's Eve/Hootenanny parties.
In Kerry, Dingle aims to outshine its bigger rivals Killarney and Tralee with a special 10pm marina fireworks spectacular.
Around 10,000 people are expected in Dingle as the New Year is ushered in with a torch-lit march around the streets led by the Dingle Fife and Drum Band.
In Limerick, a special charity ball in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation will be the centrepiece of the city's social programme, with the 'Sweet Hearts' ball staged in the Savoy Hotel.
There will also be a variety of other events, including House Limerick's Monte Carlo evening.
Waterford will celebrate its links to the New Year's Eve party in New York with the city having supplied the giant crystal ball which marks the dawn of 2019 in the Big Apple's Time Square.
Meanwhile, Galway will host a masquerade ball in GRC.
The city will also feature a range of other New Year events, including Halo Nightclub's Moulin Rouge/Come What May 2019 evening.