THE first real blast of winter is set to blow over -- only to be replaced by rain.
Temperatures dipped to an icy -4C overnight, but the Arctic weather is set to pass at the weekend.
Hats, scarves and gloves were in abundance today following freezing conditions that persisted into the morning.
However, showers are due from the west and will turn to sleet in places.
Tonight will be very cold again, with temperatures dropping to -2C in Dublin and other eastern counties.
Frost will hit most areas and motorists have been warned about the risk of icy stretches on the road.
Hail and rain are forecast for Friday, while there is a warning of widespread severe frost on Saturday night.
Milder weather, accompanied by rain, will spread to all parts on Sunday, Met Eireann said.
"The early days of next week will be cool and breezy with sunshine and showers," it added. On Monday, "it won't be quite as cold, but there's still the risk of frost at night".