The 'clash zone' explained: Why Ireland is set to see such extreme weather today
Storm Emma will meet The Beast from the East over Ireland today
Ireland is set for blizzard-like conditions not seen here since 1982. But here's why:
A polar front dubbed 'The Beast from the East' arrived in Ireland on Tuesday evening - bringing sub-zero temperatures, frost and snowy conditions.
The front had wreaked havoc across much of Europe leading to a number of deaths.
The heavy snowfall - which fell mainly in the eastern part of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday has led to widespread disruption to public transport and services.
But it is an incoming storm front that is due to push the cold weather into the realm of "serious and life-threatening".
But now Storm Emma a weather system moving up from the Bay of Biscay is due to bring a large amount of moisture to Ireland.
It is expected to reach Ireland's southern coast first today and will move across the country.
The two weather systems will clash over Ireland leading to extremely heavy snow coupled with gale force winds of up to 100km/h.
The combination will lead to an unprecedented 'white-out' with greatly reduced visibility and hazardous conditions.
People are urged to stay indoors during 4pm Thursday and noon on Friday.
The worst of the weather is due to pass by Saturday but conditions will still be poor.
Met Éireann has said that the snow will continue until the weekend, including some wintry showers on Saturday.
But there will be some brighter weather on Saturday with dry spells developing.
The fresh easterly winds will ease for a time but it will remain cold with temperatures from only 1C in the east and up to 4 or 5C in the west, coldest over lying snow. The temperatures on Saturday night will be very low again, down to -5C Met Éireann said.
There'll be rain, sleet and snow showers on Sunday and Monday along eastern and northeastern coasts with temperatures still very low for the time of year.
The winds will gradually ease, becoming light by Monday.
Cold conditions are expected to persist with light to moderate east to northeast winds and isolated wintry showers.