We like this photo of Bellamont House, Cootehill, taken by Aisling Bates, Knappagh, Shercock.

Cold snap bites as hazardous driving conditions forecast

Weather conditions are set to turn increasingly wintry with hazardous driving conditions forecast for later today and tomorrow. A status yellow snow and ice warning due to come into effect for all of Ireland at 4pm today (Thursday). Issued by Met Éireann, it will remain in place until 11am tomorrow (Friday).

The national weather forecaster warns: 'Scattered showers of hail, sleet and snow, and icy stretches, Thursday evening, Thursday night and Friday morning, will lead to hazardous travelling conditions in some parts. Showers will be most widespread in the west and north of the country where some accumulations are likely. Isolated thunderstorms will occur also.'

Any lingering rain will clear into the Irish Sea this morning, followed from the west by sunny spells and frequent blustery showers. Some showers will be heavy with hail and isolated thunderstorms, and will turn increasingly wintry through the afternoon and evening. Fresh to strong southerly winds, veering westerly by afternoon with temperatures of 4 to 8 degrees.

Tonight will be cold and blustery with widespread wintry showers, some of snow with accumulations in parts of Connacht and Ulster and on high ground. There will be some hail and scattered thunderstorms in Atlantic coastal counties also. Lowest temperatures of -1 to +3 degrees, coldest in Ulster, with fresh to strong and gusty westerly winds.

Friday morning will bring widespread showers of rain, hail, sleet and snow. However, during the day, showers will become less frequent and turn more to rain and sleet. During the afternoon, rain will develop in the west and southwest. Highest temperatures of 4 to 8 degrees in moderate to fresh and gusty westerly winds.

On Friday night, rain will spread eastwards across Ireland and will be heavy at times, especially in the west and southwest with a risk of localised flooding. Lowest temperatures of 1 to 5 degrees early in the night, but becoming milder with strengthening southwest winds.

Rain will clear eastwards quickly on Saturday morning. Sunny spells and showers will follow from the west with fresh to strong westerly winds. Some of the showers will be of hail with thunderstorms possible. They will turn increasingly wintry, through the evening and early night. Highest temperatures of around 4 to 8 degrees with fresh to strong west or northwest winds. Showers will become confined to western and northern counties on Saturday night with long dry periods elsewhere. Lowest temperatures of 0 to +4 degrees.

On Sunday, there will be a few wintry showers in the northwest at first. The rest of the country will be mainly dry. However, rain will develop in the southwest and spread northeastwards through the afternoon and evening. Daytime temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees, but becoming milder as rain moves northeastwards with fresh southerly winds. Sunday night will be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain and drizzle.

Monday will be mild and mostly cloudy with patchy rain or drizzle at first and with more persistent rain spreading from the west later. Highest temperatures of 8 to 12 degrees with moderate to fresh southwest winds. The rain will clear on Monday night with scattered showers following.