Bitterly cold weekend ahead as temperatures to plunge to -7 degrees

*Status Yellow Snow-Ice warning has been issued

Brian O'Reilly

THE coldest weekend of the year is ahead as temperatures in some areas look set to plunge as low as -7 degrees.

There is some good news however, as the stormy conditions over the last number of days will ebb away.

A Met Eireann spokesperson told “Daytime temperatures will be very low over the weekend, especially in areas where there is snow.

“We don’t expect them to rise much above freezing in these areas, maybe only one or two degrees.”

While the worst of the stormy weather may be over, the cold snap shows no signs of abating.

“The outlook is for the cold snap to remain for all of next week, with temperatures going below freezing most nights.”

There is also the widespread risk of wintry showers of sleet and snow, particularly on high ground.

Motorists have also been warned to expect treacherous conditions, as overnight frosts will be slow to clear – and freezing fog is expected in many areas.

There will be some sunny spells over the weekend- however they will do little to distract from the cold, with temperatures only rising to a maximum of six degrees in these areas.

Met Eireann issued a Yellow Weather warning due to the expected conditions.

"Wintry showers will become widespread in Connacht and West Munster Friday evening, extending eastwards in to Leinster Friday night," it said.

There was widespread disruption to travel over the last number of days due to storm Rachel.

Airlines were forced to divert flights that were unable to land in difficult conditions at airports - while thousands were left without power following the strong winds.

Meanwhile, almost 3,000 customers nationwide remain without power today following Storm Rachel yesterday.

The worst affected areas include the north-west, the west and the south-west of the country.

The number of people affected by a loss of power supply peaked yesterday at 17,000.

ESB are recommending people to check their website for updates on when power will be restored. They have also warned people not to approach broken lines or poles and to report faults immediately to 1850 372 999