The big freeze is back but only temporarily as Met Éireann forecasts a return to far milder conditions this week.

Temperatures plunged to -4°C over the weekend with a widespread severe ground frost across the country. Showers of rain, sleet and snow affected Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Roscommon, forcing the closure of a number of roads.

But Met Éireann said that while ground frost would remain tonight, tomorrow would see a return to far milder conditions with temperatures reaching double figures by Tuesday.

Vincent O'Shea of Met Éireann said yesterday that although it wasn't possible to forecast with any degree of accuracy what would happen over the rest of the winter, this weekend would see the last of this current cold snap. "From Monday on it will be far milder and temperatures should be back into double figures by Tuesday at the latest and remain so for the rest of the week" said O'Shea.