BITTERLY cold nights, sleet and snow are on the way for the next 10 days as Ireland is gripped by a new deep freeze.
The icy weather has been blamed on a cold Arctic northeast airflow caused by high pressure over Iceland and low pressure further south.
It is settling over Ireland and the UK, which is moving cold Scandinavian air our way with Scotland and north-east England already hit by heavy snow.
Rain and sleet will spread southwards through Ireland and may fall as snow in the east of Ulster and Leinster, Met Eireann said. Tonight will be very cold with temperatures falls to as low as --5C in places.
The snow in north Leinster will move south tomorrow to be replaced by icy conditions.
Over the weekend and into next week, temperatures could reach as low as --10C in some areas. Dublin and the east will see snow showers over the weekend and into next week.
Met Eireann is forecasting very cold weather for the rest of this week and into next week.
Friday night will be cold with temperatures falling to as low as --3C, with widespread frost and icy patches on the roads.
Coastal counties are likely to see some wintry showers with the risk of sleet and snow falling inland and over high ground, it said.
Saturday and Sunday will be dry and bright inland but there will be more rain, hail and sleet along coastal areas especially along eastern and northern coasts, the forecasters said.
Highest temperatures over the weekend will range from 1C to 4C on Saturday to only 0C to 2C on Sunday.
The nights will be bitterly cold with lowest temperatures falling to between --3C and --5C and even lower, with widespread severe frosts, Met Eireann warned.
Temperatures have already fallen below average and Met Eireann says they are a little unusual for November, but not exceptional for winter time.
The icy conditions over the weekend and next week have prompted warnings from the Automobile Association for drivers to take care. Motorists should take particular care when driving overnight and in the early hours of the morning, it said, with patches of freezing fog expected.