The weekend weather forecast indicates cold temperatures over the next few days with spells of sunshine alongside wintry showers, before a return to milder temperatures next week.
Starting with today (Friday, January 13), it will be breezy this morning with scattered showers, most frequent in the north but dying out by early afternoon, becoming largely dry and sunny for a time.
According to Met Éireann, showery outbreaks of rain will spread from the west later in the afternoon and evening.
Fresh and gusty westerly winds will also ease for a time in the afternoon before backing southwesterly and freshening again in the evening. Highest afternoon temperatures of 6° to 9°.
Outbreaks of rain will become widespread over the country through tonight with heavy falls in places.
A clearance to scattered showers will follow in from the west later in the night as the rain clears eastwards by morning. Temperatures will fall between 1° to 4° generally as the rain clears, in moderate to fresh southwest to west winds.
Sunny spells and blustery showers are forecast for tomorrow, Saturday (January 14), most frequent in the north and Atlantic coastal areas, with some wintry falls possible on high ground.
There is also the chance of hail and isolated thunderstorms, mainly near Atlantic coasts. It will become windy as fresh to strong and gusty westerly winds develop, strongest in the north and northwest.
Highest afternoon temperatures tomorrow will range from just 4° to 7° but will feel even colder due to the wind chill factor.
It is expected to be cold and breezy at first on Saturday night with scattered showers and with some wintry falls possible on high ground. It will be driest and clearest overnight in the south and east.
Fresh and gusty westerly winds will gradually ease in most areas through the night but will remain strong in the southwest. Lowest temperatures of -2° to +2°, with frost and icy stretches developing.
Sunday (January 15) will be a cool, bright day with spells of sunshine and showers, with falls of sleet at times. Highest temperatures of 3° to 7° are expected, in mostly moderate west to northwest winds.
It will become largely dry on Sunday night with just a few showers, mainly on northern and Atlantic coasts, but turning very cold as temperatures widely fall to -3° or -4°.
Icy stretches will develop, especially on untreated roads and paths. Patches of freezing fog will also develop in mostly light westerly or variable breezes.
Outlook for next week
Looking ahead to the weather forecast for early next week, Met Éireann has indicated there will be another cool day with sunny spells and showers on Monday (January 16), falling as sleet at times.
There is the chance of hail and isolated thunderstorms, especially in the west and northwest.
Highest temperatures will range from 1° to 5° in light to moderate breezes, fresher in the southwest. It will turn very cold again overnight as temperatures again fall to -3° or -4° widely in mostly light breezes with some pockets of freezing fog developing.
Tuesday (January 17) will be a cold day with sunshine and a good deal of dry weather though showers will continue to mainly affect northern and Atlantic coasts. Highest temperatures of 1° to 3° in light to moderate north to northwest winds are expected.
Later in the week, it is expected to continue unsettled with further spells of rain and showers. After another cold day and night on Wednesday, rain and milder conditions will move in from the west.
Currently, virtually all soils are saturated across the country with most moderately drained soils and all poorly drained soils saturated.
Over the coming week, little change to field conditions is expected, although soils in many areas away from the north will become marginally drier.
Trafficability will nevertheless remain poor.