Weather warning issued as 'Son of the Beast' to bring ice, snow and temperatures of -5C on St Patrick's Day
A weather warning has been issued as snow and ice will sweep over the country during St Patrick's Day weekend, with temperatures plunging as low as -5C.
Frigid winds from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe will bring a weather system already nicknamed "Son of the Beast" on social media.
It will be an unwelcome reminder of the freezing conditions of the 'Beast from the East' weather front that hit the country with Arctic conditions just a fortnight ago.
While there will be no blizzard this time, there are expected to be flurries of snow on what is traditionally the first bank holiday of spring.
Met Eireann issued a Status Yellow weather warning this morning from Leinster, Cavan and Monaghan, which will be in placed until 11.59pm on Sunday night.
They warned: "Advance warning for cold weather this weekend with low-temperatures, snow-showers, snow-accumulation mainly Saturday night and Sunday."
Met Éireann has warned that some St Patrick's Day parades will take place in temperatures of just 1C, a startling drop of almost 10C from the milder conditions earlier this week.
Overnight temperatures in some areas will plummet to as low as -5C this weekend, with very heavy frosts predicted.
North Leinster and Ulster are expected to witness showers of snow and sleet, some of which may be quite heavy.
The snow showers follow torrential rainfall on Wednesday, which caused flooding in Kilkenny, Cork and Dublin.
Major flood barriers remain in place across Cork with rivers including the Blackwater, Funcheon and Lee threatening to break their banks.
However, icy conditions will be the dominant feature of the weather for the next week.
"It will be a very cold day almost everywhere, so the advice for all parade-goers and marchers is to wrap up well," a Met Éireann spokesperson said.
"The winds will be from the east, so it will seem even colder than it actually is."
Cloudy and misty with showery rain in the east and north this morning which will clear later to scattered showers with some sunny spells developing. Showers turning heavy with the risk of the odd thundery downpour in the southwest. Top temperatures of 7 to 11 degrees.— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) March 16, 2018
However, the good news is that most areas are expected to enjoy dry spells, particularly in the early part of tomorrow when most of Ireland's 150-plus St Patrick's Day parades take place.
Temperatures will begin to plummet from this morning as the front from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe moves over Ireland. It will force milder Atlantic conditions away from Ireland's west coast.
While afternoon temperatures will reach between 3C and 5C today, they will fall further overnight and Dublin is likely to witness bracing temperatures of between 1C and 3C for its St Patrick's Day parade.
Met Éireann predicted that it will be slightly warmer in Connacht and parts of south west Munster, though temperatures won't rise above 5C anywhere.
The Scandinavian front will dictate Irish weather for the next few days, with icy conditions expected to last until next Wednesday.
Sunday and Monday mornings will witness a particularly heavy frost and gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) urged motorists to drive with care given the possibility of black ice, particularly on roads which are still water-logged from the rainfall on Wednesday.
Irish Water Safety and the Irish Coast Guard urged people out walking in coastal areas for the St Patrick's weekend to exercise extreme care, given the blustery conditions likely.
The Department of Housing said that local authorities would salt roads where required over the weekend, adding there were ample supplies of salt in stock.
It also said the severe weather assessment team would monitor the situation over the coming days.