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Nationwide ice warning issued as temperatures to plunge to -3C

Travel disruption is to be expected tonight and tomorrow morning
Snowfall in Ulster today Pic: Pacemaker

Snowfall in Ulster today Pic: Pacemaker

Jamie McDowell

A Status Yellow ice/low temperature warning has been issued for the entire country ahead of freezing lows of -3C and a risk of snow later this week.

Met Eireann has forecast a "widespread sharp frost" tonight with icy stretches on the roads.

And temperatures are set to plunge after dark, hitting as low as -3 degrees in the midlands.

The weather alert comes into effect at 7pm tonight and will last until 10am on Wednesday.

Travel disruption may also affect areas as a result of the cold snap.

A dog walker throws a ball on a frosty morning (Jacob King/PA)

A dog walker throws a ball on a frosty morning (Jacob King/PA)

A Status Yellow ice warning has also been issued by the UK Met Office for counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry with travel disruption in the north also to be expected.

The weather is expected to stay wintery as a cold air mass from Iceland coupled with rain-slickened roads will make driving treacherous as frost and ice is expected to form on many roads.

The midlands and south Leinster were expected to be especially affected, with overnight temperatures expected to plummet.

And there's even a risk of snow later in the week as cold conditions dominate.

Met Eireann revealed: "Unsettled and generally cold with heavy showers later in the week, some of hail, sleet and possibly snow on higher levels."

Forecaster Liz Walsh explained: "Because the roads are wet, it’s a heads-up to say there could be treacherous driving conditions and to watch out.”

Rain will move from the west on Wednesday night that will be heavy in places and may fall as sleet on higher ground, while temperatures will dip down to between two and -3 degrees early in the night before the rain brings milder overnight temperatures.

But it will turn more blustery on Thursday with rain that will clear eastward through the morning, followed by showers of rain, sleet and hail in mostly coastal counties in the west.

There will be strong to gusty winds followed by another cold night and more showers of rain, sleet and hail especially in western and northern coastal counties.

Daytime temperatures will not exceed seven to nine degrees as the rain clears. Friday will be similar with more wintry showers along western and northern coasts.

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