Big freeze lifts as Arctic air gives way to South Atlantic air

Temperatures set to rise over coming days as winter reverts to ‘cloudy, damp and dull’

The “big freeze” of recent days is set to lift by midday Friday, with temperatures rising to a comparatively tropical 11 to 13 degrees by Monday, according to Met Éireann.

The national forecaster said the cold snap in recent days was the result of an Arctic air flow coming down over the country delivering temperatures as low as minus five degrees at night, with bitterly cold breezes.

The Arctic air is now moving off to the east, as warmer air comes up from the South Atlantic bringing the milder, cloudy and damp conditions which are more familiar during winter.

Met Éireann meteorologist Mark Bowe said the end of the current status yellow warning for Icy conditions expires at midday, with daytime temperatures rising to between 8 and 10 degrees on Saturday, moving to a possible high of 13 degrees on Monday and continuing cloudy and dull – but a lot warmer than recent days – until the middle of next week at least.


According to the detailed forecast Friday will be a mostly dry day with some sunny spells developing. Patchy rain and drizzle will spread from the southwest on Friday afternoon and cloud will increase in all areas by evening. It will remain chilliest in the north.

There will be some frost or ice early on Friday night across the north and east, before cloud increases, but Saturday will bring further patchy outbreaks of rain, with more persistent rain in the west later. Highest temperatures of 8 to 10 degrees in mostly moderate southerly winds.

Saturday night is expected to be mostly cloudy with scattered outbreaks of rain, heaviest in the south with hill, mist and coastal fog too. Lowest temperatures of five to eight degrees in light to moderate southerly breezes.

Sunday should bring damp or locally wet weather to begin as overnight rain clears into the Irish Sea. It is expected to be generally dry into the afternoon with more in the way of sunny spells. Highest temperatures of nine to 12 degrees in mostly light southwest breezes.

Monday is expected to be mostly dull with patchy outbreaks of rain. It will feel milder than recent days with highest temperatures of 11 to 13 degrees in light southwest breezes.

Tuesday is expected to be another dull day with patchy rain or drizzle at times. Highest temperatures of 10 to 12 degrees in light to moderate southwesterly breezes.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist