One fifth of the population were killed in year-long Arctic conditions

SEE PHOTOS: White Christmas and winter storm on its way to Ireland

Read more: White Christmas on the cards for Ireland - SEE PHOTOS

Snow, ice and sleet are going to hit Ireland by next weekend according to Ireland’s meteorologists. After a brief thaw Ireland’s temperatures are set to fall to -5C (23F) and below.

Peter O’Donnell, the Irish Weather Online’s long range forecaster had a dramatic view of what Ireland can expect over the Christmas period.

The Canadian based meteorologist said watching the massive weather front move in from the north “is really exciting to me as a researcher and forecaster, to see how this is evolving towards a massive winter storm scenario.”

“I think the way this is evolving at present, we should be fairly confident of a widespread snow cover developing in Ireland during the four days Thursday to Sunday before a two to three day storm window of opportunity. “ he said

Met Eireann, Ireland’s meteorology services, forecaster Gerry Murphy said “On Thursday a band of rain moves down over the country from the north, behind that after the rain clears, it does become very cold”

He said “snow with that colder air hitting on Friday, Saturday and Sunday  will follow.”

It seems that a White Christmas is becoming more and more likely for Ireland.

SEE PHOTOS: White Christmas and winter storm on its way to Ireland

Read more: White Christmas on the cards for Ireland - SEE PHOTOS