ALERT: Extremely cold weather is set to develop for next week with the potential for disruptive snowfall, if not paralysing falls possible. This weekend and early Monday presents the best opportunity to prepare for this severe cold spell. It is expected that status Orange or status Red warnings will be issued by Met Eireann later this weekend, a status Yellow warning has already been issued for the coming week. See for further details.

SATURDAY: Very little change to the weather of the past few days, mostly cloudy with a few sunny spells but a brisk and chilling southeast wind continuing. Temperatures will continue their decline and daytime maximums will reach 4c or 5c at best so a distinct windchill will become more evident. OVERNIGHT: Cloud tending to break up and winds will ease later. Under clear skies and lighter winds, temperatures will drop more sharply than previous nights, so lows of -1c to -4c are expected. However, owing to the dry airmass, not much ice is expected to develop, though some isolated patches of ice are still possible especially on rural pavements with water run-off from the surrounding land and over motorway bridges.

SUNDAY: A bright sunny day with mostly clear skies, however despite the sunshine a stern southeast wind will make it feel very cool. Temperatures will max out briefly at around 5c, perhaps 6c for a few hours after midday. OVERNIGHT: Remaining clear and breezy but temperatures will drop down to around -2c to 0c despite the fresh southeast to east wind. Significant windchill.

MONDAY: A bright and sunny start to the day, however continuing cold with maximum temperatures rising to around 3c, perhaps 4c at best for a time despite the east to southeast breeze. Later in the day, cloud will build from the east and temperatures will begin to fall with winds backing more east. Around darkfall, some snow flurries will begin to develop and these will continue OVERNIGHT: Continuing breezy from the east with snow flurries at times. Cold with lows of between -2c and -5c expected, despite the breeze – so a significant wind chill.

TUESDAY: Overcast generally with showers of snow, sometimes banding together to bring heavier falls especially later in the day. Accumulations of up to 3cm possible with higher amounts over uplands and mountains likely. Highs reaching 0c to 2c at best but remaining sub-zero under showers despite the brisk east breeze. OVERNIGHT: Further showers of snow likely, with prolonged snow in places. Very cold with east to northeast winds and lows of around -6c to -3c.

OUTLOOK: It is expected to get even colder with daytime highs struggling to reach 0c and night time lows ranging -10c to -7c, especially where skies clear for any significant amounts of time overnight. Snow showers are expected to continue, if not intensify through Wednesday and on into Saturday of next week with substantial accumulations ranging from 10cm to 50cm possible. More on this later as details become clearer.