A leading weather forecaster has warned the north of the country including Donegal is facing sub-zero temperatures, polar gales and heavy snowfall in just a few weeks time.
James Madden, forecaster with Exacta Weather, said temperatures will plunge through November while December could be as bitter as four years ago, the coldest in over 100 years in Ireland.
And he warned that both December and January could see prolonged falls of snow.
He said the combination of unusually-high Siberian snow cover this month, recent solar activity levels and volcanic emission patterns in Iceland all point to a harsh winter ahead.
He said: “As we progress throughout November, it is going to become gradually colder across many parts of Ireland, in particular from around the mid-month point when it is likely to become exceptionally cold at times.
“This early start to what is likely to be a harsh winter is also likely to be accompanied by a number of potentially widespread snow events within this period and into the start of December.
“The parts most at risk of experiencing snow within this period will be to the north and east of Ireland and some of this cold could prove to be quite significant at times, even across some much lower levels of the country.”