Met Éireann's has announced a 'Status Orange' national forecast this afternoon.
The forecaster is warning of very strong winds and heavy wintry showers of hail, sleet and snow today, and overnight.
It is likely Ireland will face blizzard-like conditions and accumulations of snow, especially on higher grounds.
Extremely windy today with a mix of sunny spells & showers, Westerly winds will reach strong to gale force, with gusts of 90 to 130 km/h.— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) February 4, 2013
Met Éireann said that strong to gale force westerly winds will produce gusts of 110km/h (68mph) to 130km/h (80mph) in Connacht and Donegal later.
Elsewhere, Munster, Leinster, Cavan and Monaghan are expected to have 90km/h (56mph) to 110km/h winds.
Met Éireann said it will be extremely windy with some severe, possibly damaging gusts.
“After dark, heavy wintry showers of hail, sleet and snow will develop at first in the north of the country, but during the night they will become more widespread and produce some accumulations of snow, in particular on high ground but also at lower levels,” it said.
“The very strong winds and snow showers will produce some blizzard-like conditions especially on higher ground, with icy patches at all levels.
“The wintry showers will turn to rain showers on Tuesday afternoon as temperatures increase.”
On foot of the prediction, The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has issued an alert to all road users.
#WeatherAlert Met Éireann forecast wintry showers of hail, sleet and snow with possible blizzard conditions and widespread icy patches.— RSA Ireland (@RSAIreland) February 4, 2013
The RSA urged drivers to be aware of falling debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road driving in wet and windy conditions.
It said road users should be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads, and to leave extra space between other vehicles.
And late night and morning motorists should watch out for black ice.
“Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to be seen,” the RSA added.
“Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
“Take extra care when near traffic or crossing the road in extremely windy conditions as sudden gusts can blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.”
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