IRELAND IS braced for “significant” snow and ice over the coming weekend and into the early part of next week as a weather front from Siberia hits the country.
Forecasters are predicting the severe weather conditions will begin to descend from this Saturday and will likely last until Wednesday at the earliest.
Winds traveling from the east and north-east are expected to pick up moisture over the Irish Sea which, when combined with the freezing temperatures, is likely to result in snow.
The eastern coast of Ireland, covering the area from Antrim to Waterford looks set to see the most significant snowfall.
With temperatures unlikely to exceed four degrees, much of the snow is expected to settle.
The west is likely to experience frost and ice with rain more likely than snowfall.
That could end up only being the tip of the iceberg – no pun intended – with further snow expected early in the week as part of an Atlantic depression bringing cold easterly air from Siberia.
On the left below is a probabilistic representation of max & min temperatures for Dublin from the ECMWF's ENSEMBLE forecast system. It shows a high amount of certainty that we're in for some very cold days from Sunday onwards. But how long it will last? 🥶 ☃️ pic.twitter.com/822cXerlxK
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) February 3, 2021
It comes as part of a sudden stratospheric warming event that occurred in the Arctic and is the same that previously brought the “Beast from the East” to Ireland in February 2018.
That month Ireland saw its heaviest snowfalls since 1982 and similar could be on the cards three years on.
Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy told The Irish Times: "We will have very cold weather for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The winds will feed in showers over the eastern half of the country and those showers will be of sleet and snow."
He added: "As the cold weather persists, each day and each night will be colder. The showers will become wintery. A fair few of those are likely to be of snow from Sunday into Wednesday."
Despite the Beast of the East comparisons, Murphy has been keen to downplay concerns that similar snowfall could be seen.