Ireland is now on red alert for an incoming blizzard, with schools closed and transport stopped for a day. 

Met Eireann last night extended the Status Red warning – the highest and most severe level – to all Irish counties. The alert is in effect from Wednesday at 11pm to Friday at 3pm.

All schools, third level institutions and colleges of further education will be closed tomorrow and Friday.

Heavy snow and freezing weather from the east is expected to meet severe winds of up to 100km/hr with Storm Emma on Thursday to create blizzard conditions across Ireland, the likes of which have not been experienced in the country since 1982. Blizzards create serious and life threatening conditions due to the heavy snow and strong winds.

The National Emergency Coordination Group is warning the Irish public not to venture outdoors during times of red level warnings. People are being urged to stay indoors on Thursday afternoon from 4pm until Friday midday.

Motorists are warned not to travel during this time.

Meteorologist Joanna Donnelly explained the severity of the incoming weather event which led to the Status Red alert being placed nationwide:

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