Met Eireann, Ireland’s national meteorological service, has warned of what it is predicting to be some of the most severe weather Ireland has had so far this year.

The Irish Times reports on Met Eireann’s forecast, which warranted a ‘status orange’ warning under a new alert system for harsh weather conditions.

Status orange means that between 3cm and 8cm of snow are expected. The development of the new color-coded alerts was to bring the Irish system into line with the European Meteoalarm system.

Yellow warnings are issued when people should “be aware”, orange when they should “be prepared” and red when they should “take action”.

Met Eireann said that the weather will “have the capacity to impact significantly on the people” in the areas of Leinster, Ulster and Munster.

Met Éireann meteorologist Gerry Murphy said Sunday would be bitterly cold with frost lingering in places all day and with snow showers in coastal counties of Ulster, Leinster and Munster.

Driving conditions could be especially hazardous Sunday night and Monday.

“The snow will sit on the ground today,” Murphy said on Sunday, “and temperatures everywhere will struggle to get above three degrees.”

Sunday night is predicted to see temperatures falling as low as -6 degrees and ground temperatures plummeting to -10 degrees. Monday is expected to be warmer and dry during the day, but by nighttime the extreme cold will set in again.