| 7.7°C Dublin

White Christmas on the cards as freezing December and January predicted

IT MIGHT be a Christmas dream but a commuter nightmare.

Snow is on the horizon in the coming days as temperatures are set to plunge to well below freezing.

The icy snap faced by workers this morning is only a sign of colder things to come.

Temperatures are expected to plummet to as low as -3C at night time this week and heavy frost and ice have been predicted by Met Eireann.

However, forecasters say weather will be mainly dry this week and, while there is a possibility of snowflakes, they are not expecting a large snowfall.

“There could be some snowflakes on Thursday, but if it does snow it will be mainly restricted to hills and mountains,” Sandra Spillane of Met Eireann said.

“There is certainly a cold week ahead, although it will be milder down the south.”

Daytime temperatures are expected to remain low for this time of the year and will reach 4 or 5C during the day time around the Dublin region.

This comes amid predictions that a sub-zero Siberian cold front could reach Ireland by Wednesday and may last through Christmas and the New Year – bringing travel chaos to the country.

It is reported that freezing weather conditions could plummet to temperatures as low as -6C, which could signal an unwelcome return to the snow horrors experienced during our 2009 and 2010 winters.

Jim Dale of British Weather Services has predicted that prolonged freezing conditions from Russia will hit Britain and Ireland and conditions will only get worse for the rest of December and January.

“Last winter only had small intrusions of cold, this winter we think it is closer to 2010,” said Mr Dale.

“All the signals we've got point to continental Siberian influence and we can start talking about December and potentially January being very cold months and seeing protracted cold and snow.”

Local authorities have already stockpiled thousands of tonnes of rock salt for road treatment after being caught out by the Big Freezes of 2009 and 2010.

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