Winter 2013 is set to continue to bite hard this week, with shorter evenings and Met Eireann forecasting that the unsettled weather will continue over the next few days. Due to these harsh conditions, it is likely that much of Ireland’s cattle herd will be housed for the winter this week.

According to Met Eireann, tonight will be cold as temperatures are expected to fall to between 3 and 6 degrees. Showers will become confined to coastal areas of the north and west later this evening and tonight will be mostly dry and clear with light winds. However more persistent rain is set to develop along Atlantic coasts and winds are expected to increase.

Met Eireann forecast that tomorrow morning will be wet. Rain will move eastwards to all areas and there will also be strong southerly winds. This rain is expected to clear from the west later in the day with highest temperatures of 12 to 14 degrees.

The rest of the week will follow a similar pattern. Thursday will be windy with a mix of sunny spells and showers with maximum temperatures of 9 to 12 degrees. Friday will be dry and bright with just a few scattered showers in some areas; however a persistent spell of rain will develop in Munster and South Leinster. Highest temperatures on the day will be 9 to 12 degrees and it is expected a temperatures will fall close to freezing over night with the risk of frost.

At this stage Met Eireann are forecasting the weekend to be particularly unsettled. They say that early indications suggest that Saturday will be wet and windy. Strong northwest winds are expected on Sunday with bright spells and showers.