A red weather warning will be issued in the coming days with blizzard-like conditions to come, says a Met Éireann weather forecaster.

Speaking to RTE, Joanna Donnelly said: “The weather is deteriorating, so it is going to get bad.”

She also said snow showers will become more persistent along the east coast and will become more widespread.

“I know people are talking about the weather at the moment, but if you all remember we have been forecasting that it is a deterioration and the bad weather is still to come,” she said.

“We were never forecasting that today was going to be a snowy day. The showers are coming. They are on the east coast at the moment. “They are intermittent. They are becoming more persistent and widespread. And it’s going to get worse.

“The people that are out there saying it; “It’s a beautiful day”, the weather is deteriorating so it is going to get bad.

“And they’re going to become more persistent, more widespread.

“People need to take note, the warnings in operation today are for the east coast. They will be updated. There will be more warnings issued, there will be a red warning issued but we have to wait until we have all of the best evidence in front of us.”

The Irish Red Cross notified the HSE today that it has 120 vehicles on standby across the country ahead of the extreme weather conditions expected this week.

The National Emergency Coordination Group met in Dublin for a second day in a row to coordinate national responses.

Chairman Sean Hogan described the looming Arctic blast, nicknamed the Beast From The East, as a big event.

He said the aim was to keep the country moving.

“People will be encountering a level of snow tonight and tomorrow in some areas, some parts of the country. The local authority and public services will be responding in accordance with severe weather protocols to keep the county moving in so far as possible,” Mr Hogan said.

“We’ll be giving more advice tomorrow as we get closer to the big event on Thursday night and into Friday.”

Schools across the country will remain open on Wednesday, as will public transport, subject to local conditions.

The situation will be reviewed again on Wednesday.

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