Schools across Ireland could be forced to close this week as a blast of bitterly cold weather arrives from Siberia.
Heavy snow, ice, and sleet showers are expected, with temperatures to drop as low as minus 10.
At the moment some counties have been issued Status Orange weather warnings, while others are still Status Yellow.
The Department of Education has said schools will be monitored on a daily basis.
"In the event of a Status Red warning, decisions are made locally on closures. But the department will follow any advice from the National Emergency Co-ordination Group,” a spokesperson told The Independent.
The NGEC met today to discuss contingency plans for the week ahead.
Chairperson Sean Hogan told RTE Radio One that the goal was to keep schools open, at least until later in the week.
"Individual schools will have to make their own decisions based on advice," he said.
"The Department of Education will attend our meeting and they will pass on advice to the schools and the schools will make their own decision. They will then issue a statement to parents locally about whether schools are open or not.
"Our objective is to try and keep schools open as much as possible until we see what happens on Thursday and Friday. That depends on local conditions."
School transport services will not operate if there is a Status Red Weather Warning.