'Don't be fooled by the mild weather at the moment' - Snow and ice warning to follow 'Storm Caroline'
Met Éireann is set to issue a snow and ice warning following Storm Caroline on Thursday.
It may have been mild when you woke up this morning but Met Éireann has warned the weather is set to take a sharp turn.
The forecaster issued a wind warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry.
It will remain in place from 3am in the early hours of Thursday morning until Thursday evening at 8pm.
A nationwide snow and ice warning will be issued tomorrow night as a "plunge of cold, Arctic air" is set to hit the country.
A Met Éireann forecaster said that the drop in temperatures will be a "real shock to the system".
"It's currently quite mild so people will really feel it when the cold air comes in," she said.
The snow and ice warning won't expire until Friday morning.
"It will turn increasingly wintry with biting northwest breezes and snow is forecast for the whole country on Friday.
"It's likely to stick in the north and north west but the rest of the country can expect a light dusting," the forecaster added.
Today is expected to be a cloudy and windy day with rain spreading across the country this morning.
A risk of thunder is also expected on the west coast.
Tonight will be windy and mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain turning heavy and a risk of spot flooding.
Minimum temperatures between 4 and 6 degrees and fresh to strong southwesterly will strengthen tomorrow morning.
The UK Met Office have predicted the Atlantic storm, which they've dubbed 'Caroline', to pass close to the north coast of Scotland on Thursday morning.
Now, Met Éireann are reporting the severe winds, which are due to affect parts of Scotland, will generate strong and blustery winds over Ireland also. They have classified the warning as a status yellow wind warning.
Gusts of between 100km/h and 110km/h are expected, with the strongest winds expected over coastal areas and high ground.
"Thursday will be a cold, windy day. Showers will become widespread and will be increasingly winterly. Some showers will be heavy with a risk of thunder," a Met Eireann forecaster said.
"Thursday night will be bitterly cold and windy with winterly showers of hail, sleet and snow. Frost and icy stretches also with lows of minus 2 degrees."
The remainder of the week will bring a mix of wintry conditions and sunny spells.
"The emphasis changes from one part of the day to the next, don't be fooled by what's out there at the moment," the Met Eireann forecaster warned.
The AA has issues a caution to drivers over wet conditions on most roads. Motorists are asked to slow down and increase their breaking conditions.
Road users are being urged to exercise caution during the storm.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has cautioned motorists to expect the unexpected and advised of the following:
- Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
- Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
- Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
- Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.
- It takes longer to stop in wet conditions so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front.
- Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility.
- Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/hs.
The RSA has also urged cyclists and motorists to wear bright clothing and reflective armbands and belts.