Temperatures dive to -7C as motorists warned of icy conditions nationwide
- Low temperature warning in place until 10am
- Motorists urged to take extreme care
- Cold stretch to last all week
- Temperatures 'worst of the winter season so far'
Plummeting temperatures of as low as -7C will lead to a blanket of frost on roads and paths across the country today - and the cold snap is set to carry on for the rest of the week.
Road users, cyclists and pedestrians have all been warned by forecasters to take their time on their travels today and wrap up well.
A Status Orange low-temperature warning was in place nationwide until 10am. However, the frosty conditions are not anticipated to lift until the early afternoon.
Met Éireann said the temperatures are the worst of the winter season so far and are not set to improve until Thursday.
Meteorologist Siobhán Ryan said the ground frost would have begun to hit most of the country as soon as it got dark last night.
"Road users, cyclists and people on foot should take extra care today - wrap up warm," Ms Ryan said.
"There will be no upward trend with regards to temperatures. "Temperatures might only get up to -2C in parts of the country (during today)."
The forecaster said the Midlands, west and most of Leinster would be the worst affected areas by the frosty conditions.
Current temps (°C at 6:30am)— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) January 8, 2018
Mt Dillon (Rosc) -6.5
Gurteen (Tipp) -6.0
Athenry (Gal) -5.9
Claremorris (Mayo) -5.1
Ballyhaise (Cav) -4.8
Moore Park (Cork) -4.4
Shannon Airport -4.1
Knock Airport -2.9
Mullingar (Wes) -2.4
Dublin Airport -1.7
Cork Airport 0.8
Valentia (Kerry) 4.0
It's expected that Wednesday night will also see bitterly cold conditions sweep the country.
AA Roadwatch has urged drivers to take care and to allow more time to reach your destination.
In Cork, the AA reports, black ice has been reported on the Midelton/Dungourney Road (R627) at Ballinacole Cross. There are very icy conditions between the Michael Collins monument in Béal na Bláth and Béal na Bláth village, with Gardai advising extreme care.
Also in Cork route 248 has been cancelled due to ice on roads.
There are reports of icy conditions on the Toonsbridge/Ballylickey Road (R584) between Ballingeary and Gougane Barra.
In Limerick secondary routes in the Askeaton and Adare areas are particularly icy.
Carrick-on-Shannon and Roscommon town and it's surrounds are the worst affected raods in Connacht.
While in Ulster secondary routes in the Cavan town area are particularly icy.
Gardaí have reported icy conditions on roads around Kildare Town, especially in the Kildangan area in Co Kildare.
Gardaí have also noted icy conditions on secondary and local routes around Portlaoise.
Icy conditions are also set to hit commuters in the Mullingar area, with the Lynn Rd (R400) being particularly bad.
Meanwhile, Dublin Fore Brigade has warned commuters of horses on the loose on the Rathoath Road in Finglas.
The Red Line Luas is running 13 minutes behind at points on the line.
Yesterday, the freezing conditions caused havoc - early- season GAA tournaments with matches in Mayo and Monaghan were among those cancelled at the last minute.
It is understood that many of the fans for Mayo's clash with Donegal were in the Castlebar stadium when the decision was made to postpone the match following a pitch inspection.
Meanwhile, with the cold snap due to last until Thursday, Age Action Ireland has raised concerns for elderly people, who can fare poorly when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Justin Moran, of the advocacy group, urged communities to play their part to ensure that their older neighbours remain safe and well in their homes during the cold snap.
"Cold weather can kill and does kill in Ireland, making the winter a particularly challenging period for older people," he said.
"If there is an older person living in your neighbourhood we would encourage you to visit or phone them to check if they need supplies and that they are OK - don't depend on others to do it."