The Indian summer is over – Ireland is finally bracing itself for the first big freeze of the winter.
Snow is already on the Dublin Mountains as the country prepares for temperatures as low as minus five celsius (23 Fahrenheit) this week.
Forecasters have warned that the unusually mild winter is about to take a turn for the worst.
Experts say temperatures are due to drop to a chilly 3C to 6C by day and will fall as low as -5C at night.
Pat Clarke, a forecaster with the government’s Met Eireann service, confirmed a plunge in temperatures is on the way.
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“It is going to get much colder, yet a lot of Europe will be much, much colder than here as we are out in the ocean so we won’t fare as bad as other parts,” Clarke told the Irish Independent.
“However the country is unlikely to be hit by heavy snowfalls due to a mild weather front over the Atlantic Ocean, which is halting the progress of a cold weather front moving in from Eastern Europe.
“There is a risk of wintry showers along the east and south coasts next weekend.
“It is going to be a bit of a shock to the system. It is going to be a cold week.
“From the charts at the moment, it doesn’t look like too much snow. It looks like it will land further to the east in central Europe and the coast of England is also under threat of snow showers.”
Temperatures have been higher than normal this winter and have hit highs of 12C to 13C on occasion.