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Cold snap to herald another icy winter

IRELAND can kiss goodbye to the Indian summer, with icy sleet and plummeting temperatures in store from the middle of next week.

After sunshine and temperatures of up to 20C last week, forecasters are warning the nation to dig out the winter woollies as daytime temperatures will drop dramatically next week, ahead of a winter that forecasters say could be every bit as bad as the last one.

Met Eireann last night warned that it would feel a lot colder in the second half of next week, with daytime temperatures hovering around seven or eight degrees, and inland parts dropping to -1C or -2C at night under clear skies.

Rain, hail and bitter north-westerly winds are heading our way, and a northerly air stream could bring snow or sleet to Northern Ireland, with higher ground elsewhere also at risk.

Long-term forecaster Positive Weather Solutions has predicted a 'white-out' winter almost as harsh as the last -- with widespread snow, temperatures as low as -16C and transport chaos. Last winter was the country's coldest since 1963, with temperatures 2C lower than average.

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