There's going to be a huge change in the weather this weekend 2 years ago

There's going to be a huge change in the weather this weekend

Uh oh.

It's been a blustery and chilly few days throughout the country after Ireland was hit by a December cold snap.

A Status Orange snow and ice weather alert has been issued for 17 counties on Friday, which will be in place for 24 hours beginning at 11pm on Saturday.

The caution was issued for Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath and Meath as well as all of Connacht.

"Significant falls of snow" are expected overnight, with accumulations of between 4 and 8cm.

But things are set to get even colder, with Met Eireann forecasters warning of the "treacherous" conditions over the next few days.

Saturday will be mainly cold and dry with sunny spells, with a few isolated wintry showers in the northern and northeastern coastal areas.

weather warning

Persistent rain will develop in the southwest during the afternoon, with maximum temperatures reaching between 1C to 4C.

Frost and ice will linger in sheltered places, but it will be less cold along souther and Atlantic coasts.

Heavy and persistent rain will spread from the southwest on Saturday night, bringing local spot flooding to the area.

It will turn into snow as it moves northwards, bringing larger accumulations to Connacht, the midlands and a lot of Leinster.

Temperatures overnight on Saturday are forecast to be between -1C and -5C, with the coldest in the east.

Meanwhile, more heavy rain and snow falls are forecast for Sunday.

Temperatures in the afternoon will stay between 1C and 4C for most of the country, with Munster and the south coast forecast for between 7C and 9C.

The rain and the snow will fade out during the second part of the day, with chances of snow in Munster in the evening.

But temperatures are forecast to plummet to as low was -8C on Sunday night - and possibly even lower.

The lowest temperatures will be in the north midlands, while temperatures in Munster will be between -2C and -3C.

Widespread and severe frost will result in hazardous driving conditions across the country, with all areas at risk.

Sleet and snow will continue for part of the day, but gradually fade away as the night continues on.