Following one of the warmest and windiest Octobers on record Ireland is set to be slammed by a cold winter, with stubborn areas of high pressure over Scandinavia funneling colder air and storm systems south. Get out those winter woolies folks!

"It feels like it became winter overnight," said Met Eireann Forecaster Joanna Donnelly.

"There was a very sudden and sharp drop in the temperature. And that's because October was an extremely clement month, warm and bright."

But now what is Ireland and rest of Europe in store for this winter?

Right across Europe the winter of 2013 – 2014 was relatively mild, but now AccuWeather is reporting that this year will be significantly different. Shots of cold air from Siberia will result in below-normal temperatures and an above average snowfall is expected across mainland Europe.

The weather experts foresee strong and widespread damaging winds, although less so than last year, across the UK and Ireland. Shots of the predicted cold northern air will also tumble across Ireland. However, one good piece of news from AccuWeather is that there will be less rain during the season.

Weather Services International (WSI)
, the company behind The Weather Channel, says Ireland’s winter season will be one of two halves with the coldest weather occurring in January and February. Although this is usually the coldest time of the year in Ireland WSI says their information is based on “internal statistical analysis.”

Peter O’Donnell, the Vancouver-based long range forecaster for Irish Weather Online forecasts a mixed winter with occasional cold spells and periods of mild weather.

He told the Clare Herald, “The overall theme will be large variations from some quite cold spells (expected about once a month) to very mild spells. This may be true of most winters to some extent, but I think it may stand out as the dominant feature due to the large differences involved.”

“I expect the colder portions of the winter (the next five months, that is) to be mid-November, a spell in early December, parts of early to mid January, and possibly a longer and more dominant cold spell late February into March.”

WSI Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford said, “The bulk of evidence currently suggests that the rest of autumn will be generally warm and wet across northern Europe, similar to the pattern observed for much of last winter. However, fundamental changes to ocean temperature patterns across the North Pacific and North Atlantic since last year are now strongly suggestive that the last half of winter will be much colder than the first half. While the exact timing of the pattern change is clearly impossible to predict, we suspect that January will be colder than December and that February will be the coldest of the three winter months.”

So what we can look forward to is milder intervals predicted around Christmas and New Year's, but for now best wrap up warm and get ready for the cold.