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Prepare for spring 'white out'...

SPRING has sprung – but any early daffodils are likely to be smothered by snow in the coming hours.

Forecasters say that there will be a 'white out' in parts of the country tonight as temperatures plummet and severe gusts hit.

After the stormy winds that brought down trees and cut off power to thousands of homes last week, there is more on the way.

The blue skies over the weekend were merely teasing us because the first full week of February promises freezing fog and heavy showers.

"Tonight will bring a mixture of clear spells and scattered heavy wintry showers," said Met Eireann.


"The showers will fall widely as hail, sleet and snow with a possibility of some accumulation of snow by morning."

Air temperatures will drop below freezing but he cold snap won't be helped by northwest winds of up to 130km/h.

"There will be some lying snow tomorrow morning and there may be some further snow showers during the morning but for the afternoon the showers will have turned back to rain," say forecasters.

There will be some sunny spells also and any lying snow will melt as temperatures rise to between 4C and 8C.

As the week goes on it will continue to feel very cold but normal service should resume with falls of rain and hail across the country.

Motorists were warned today that even once the snow passes roads could still be dangerous with icy patches expected.

By Wednesday the strong winds will steadily ease but will still be fresh and blustery for much of the day and will continue to produce a considerable wind-chill effect.

"Thus temperatures of 5C to 8C will feel closer to zero. It will be mostly dry with sunny spells or perhaps sunny in places but passing showers will affect some northern and eastern parts" said the Met office.

But as the weekend approaches things are looking up – or at least the temperatures are.

It will be less windy and less cold with highs of 9C.