Ireland and the UK are set to be hit with snow and sub-zero temperatures this week as 'bitterly cold' weather is forecast from Wednesday night .
The Big Freeze has already taken hold in Europe with temperatures plunging to -30 degrees with more than thirty people estimated to have died from the cold weather.
The British Government today issued a level-2 cold weather alert ahead of warnings that overnight temperatures could plunge to -12C in Scotland and -5 in the south and midlands.
The Met Office have weather warning is in place from Wednesday until Sunday morning warning of an of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow in places..
The wintry weather forecast in Ireland later this week will not be as severe bit will still be 'extremely cold'.
Met Eireann Forecaster Liz Gavin said: “We have a short-lived cold snap on the way. From Wednesday night onwards, it’s going to stay cold until around Saturday.
“We have a pool of cold air that is coming in from the Atlantic and that is likely going to bring a mixture of showers. “The showers are likely to be of hail, sleet and snow and heaviest along the north and northwest.
“There’s a risk for most parts for some snow showers, particularly for Thursday.”
Friday and Saturday will bring some milder weather with any snow confined to higher ground while Sunday will bring milder and drier weather throughout the country.