| 12.3°C Dublin

Dublin to escape snow but temperatures set to hit -4C

shoppers face bitingly cold weather for their Christmas spree this weekend as temperatures plunge even further in the current cold snap.

The thermometer will drop to -4C over the weekend with widespread black ice and frost.

But the prospect of a snowfall in Dublin is small -- with weather forecasters saying that the chances of what happened last year re-occurring are quite remote.

The icy driving conditions of the past few days are set to continue on both main and secondary roads today.

Tonight there will be sharp ground frost and icy patches throughout a very cold night with temperatures falling to between zero and -3C.

Rain will move into western parts overnight and hail, sleet and snow will fall across the country early tomorrow.

The greatest risk of snow will be in the morning and temperatures will be coldest in the East with a high of 3-7C. Tomorrow night will be bitterly cold.

On Saturday further showers will be driven by chilly northerly winds and on Saturday night temperatures are likely to plunge to -4C.

Wintry showers on Sunday will be less frequent and it won't be quite as cold. It looks like the early days of next week will become milder.

Motorists are being advised by garda to drive with extra care on all secondary routes and the National Roads Authority says it currently has 150,000 tonnes of salt available for gritting national roads.