I think it's best to take this a step at a time in relation to the upcoming cold snap because the situation is very fluid, marginal and dynamic from Thursday evening. For Wednesday and Thursday the guidance is rock solid though.
Wednesday, Wednesday night, Thursday
- Rapid temperature drop through Wednesday morning countrywide
- Temps 3 - 12c at first, falling to 0 - 3c through the afternoon
- Showers turning to snow before sunrise in the far west to low levels with accumulations before the afternoon away from immediate wind ward coasts
- Showers intensify through the day turning to snow in most places by late afternoon
- Snow showers widespread Wednesday night but especially Connaught, Ulster, North Leinster and West Munster
- Significant and potentially disruptive accumulations in the western half of the country overnight
- Strong northwesterly wind with gusts touching gale occasionally in exposed locations
- Some frost overnight in the east and south, limited elsewhere due to brisk wind
- Overnight temps circa -2 - +1c
- May turn slightly milder through Thursday afternoon with snow showers turning back to rain or sleet at low levels and a temporary day time thaw may set in where snow has settled
- Colder than average conditions to continue for forseeable with occasional marginal snow risk at times
Don't forget to keep up to date with MT's forecasts.
Friday 30th January - Thursday 5th February
Hi all, an update to the OP.
The cold conditions are set to remain until at least Thursday and even this time frame could yet be extended. Winds will vary north to northwesterly and will be strong for a time tomorrow though may go southeasterly temporarily on Monday. After Tuesday winds go more northeasterly.
Daytime temperatures will remain low throughout generally in low single figures between 0 and 4c but night time temperatures will really tumble.
Tonight temperatures will fall to around -2 c in many areas and this brings with it frost and ice for untreated roads. Tomorrow night temperatures will fall further to around -2 or 3 c widely (slightly milder near wind ward coasts). Sunday night will see temperatures as low as -5 or -6 c particularly in the northern half of the country where snow is lying. Again frost and ice will be an additional hazard to any lying snow. Monday night again temperatures sub zero and down to -2 or -3 c generally but under cloudier skies. Again slightly milder on Atlantic coasts. Night time temperatures on current trends will plunge even further midweek and could get as low as -6 or -7 c locally.
Precipitation - Rainfall/snowfall
From tonight most of the expected precipitation will be snow. Over the weekend snow showers will mostly affect Ulster, west Connaught and west Munster settling in places particularly across Ulster. Occasionally some may get lost and end up in north Leinster or the midlands at times so don't be surprised with a random dusting one morning.
This applies to tonight, tomorrow and Sunday.
2 potential snow "events" to watch
On Monday a warm front will attempt to move in off the Atlantic but will stall somewhere near the southwest. This will be coming in to contact with very cold air over the country and the rain will turn to snow away from far southwest coastal areas. There is potential for some heavy snowfall from this that may well be disruptive.
Currently this looks to affect most of Munster and south Connaught. Another affect could be to drag in some light snowfall to eastern counties off the Irish sea.
People in these areas should keep up to date because the exact position of this is a little uncertain still and it may yet affact more than the areas mentioned but the current concensus is it is the southwest that takes the hit here.
There is less certainty about Monday night. Currently it looks like an active but shallow trough or small area of developing low pressure will move down from the north. At this stage upper air temperatures and ground temperatures will be very low and it's about as close as we can get to a sure thing for snow in Ireland - on current trends. There is potential for heavy and in places significant snowfall and some disruption.
Again keep up to date with this because it could affect your journey on Tuesday morning.
The orange fonts are the two features that really need to be taken in to account in the coming days. There potentially will be severe weather at times but mostly it should be nice be to look at.