Snow and frost warning as Siberian 'Beast' blows in

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Eveyln Cusack gave an update on the impact of the weather that will accompany air coming from Siberia is coming from the North Pole.

"There is a lot of precipitation associated with it and as it hits the cold area across Ireland and Britain, there is a high risk of some very heavy snow".

Snow showers are expected from Tuesday onwards - particularly in the east and southeast - with the possibility of more persistent bands of snow developing later in the week. The snowfall is expected to match that experienced in January 1982, when blizzards covered the country for ten days.

"Of more significance than actual amounts is that there will be easterly gales".

"We're anticipating very hard conditions on Thursday night with Storm Emma coming up from the home when allied with the snow, coming from the east. The definition of a blizzard is continuous snow blown by gale force winds." she said.

"Exceptionally cold weather will occur this week".

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"We may have been thinking up until now that winter was behind us, but it looks like this week we're going to get a little bit more", he said.

A status orange snow-ice warning has now been issued for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Wicklow and Meath. If one is issued people in the affected area are advised to take action to protect themselves and/or their properties.

Temperatures dropped as low as -3C overnight across parts of Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

Update 7pm: Forecasters say the coldest February in five years could cause travel disruption and problems with frozen pipes next week.

Today will be generally dry, but some snow flurries are likely later in eastern coastal counties. On that occasion, the Irish Army had to be called in as temperatures went as low as minus 3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Government's Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather is meeting this morning to discuss how to respond to the expected extreme weather.

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