Met Eireann is predicting a very cold week in store until Saturday. However, it says that it will become less cold after a week of unsettled and changeable weather this week.

Today will be cold and very windy with heavy showers in places and hail and scattered thunderstorms for a time, mainly in parts of the west and north.

Met Eireann says tonight will be mostly cloudy, with outbreaks of rain turning heavy in southern counties and with some sleet in places. The north and northwest will have clear spells and scattered wintry showers and these clearer conditions will spread to all parts overnight, but it will become bitterly cold and frosty, with icy stretches.

Minimum temperatures 0 to minus 3 Celsius according to Met Eireann.

Friday, will be very cold, but bright with sunny spells, it says, with occasional showers also, some heavy and of hail, with a risk of scattered thunderstorms. Wintry showers also, especially over high ground.

Saturday will be very cold at first, especially in the east, with maximum temperatures of 5 to 9 Celsius, but values will gradually improve, in a moderate to fresh west to southwest wind, Met Eireann says.

There will be good dry, bright spells, (some parts of the south and east staying dry), but further scattered showers also, mainly in the southwest, west and northwest, where it will be mostly cloudy.

The outlook for Sunday is for it to be quite mild, with bright or sunny spells and scattered showers, most of the showers in Ulster, Connacht and west Munster.