Festive feeling grows as icy weather arrives
As Dublin braces itself for snow, ice and biting sub-zero temperatures, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Met Eireann issued two snow warnings last night as Storm Caroline brought Arctic weather to Ireland.
The forecasters initially iss-ued an orange weather warning to seven counties - Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford Mayo, Monaghan and Sligo.
However, last night it included Dublin and 17 other counties in a yellow weather warning for snow and ice.
Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary, Water- ford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow have now all been placed on alert.
The warnings will remain in place until 6pm.
"Significant falls of snow are likely to cause accumulations of 3cm or greater above mean sea level," said Met Eireann.
A spokesman said the forecaster will be providing updates on its website.
Dublin will be cold and breezy throughout the day with further wintry showers of hail, sleet and snow falling well into the night.
Temperatures in some areas could drop as low as -2C.
Met Eireann forecaster John Eagleton said the coldest temperatures will be in the north-west.
"It will be cold for the next 10 days, with temperatures hardly making 10C during the day," he said.
Met Eireann also warned that some cold air and icy conditions will come "a real shock to the system" following the mild period.
It will turn increasingly wintry with biting north-west winds.
Meanwhile, the Road Safety Authority has warned motorists to "expect the unexpected" with the arrival of high winds and icy conditions and to exercise caution on the roads.