Met Éireann has issued a snow and ice warning for the entire country for tomorrow night, following a warning for seven counties that is currently in place.

The Status Yellow warning will come into effect from 6pm tomorrow and will last until midday on Sunday.

It follows an earlier warning, which currently applies to Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo.

Met Éireann is warning of falls of hail, sleet and snow with icy and hazardous conditions.

The warning for the seven northeastern counties expires at midday tomorrow, but will be followed by the warning for the entire country at 6pm.

There is also a Yellow weather warning for Northern Ireland, which will be in effect from 4pm today until 10.30am tomorrow.

Snow and ice may cause travel disruption for that period in counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Derry.

The UK Met Office said this means there will probably be some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths, increasing the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

It said some roads and railways are likely to be affected by snowfall, with longer journey times by car as well as bus and train services.

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The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) warned animal-owners to take care of their four legged friends during the cold spell.

"Larger animal including horses and farm animals should be brought inside in a secure stable or shed, so that they are shielded from snow and icy conditions," it said in a statement.

The ISPCA also said pets should be kept safely indoors and advised: "Consider bringing dogs on more frequent, but shorter walks so they spend less time exposed to the cold."

Met Éireann forecaster Gavin Gallagher said the entire country is heading into a "wintry weekend".

Tonight, it will be particularly cold in the northwest with temperatures falling to around -2C.

Areas in the northwest will see up to 3cm of snow falling on frozen ground or accumulating on ground where it could freeze.

Mr Gallagher explained that there will not be snow everywhere in the affected counties but there will be "quite a few showers" of snow, especially on higher ground.

He said the air is getting colder, which means precipitation across the country will increasingly turn to snow.

There is also a risk of ice from rain falling on untreated surfaces.

"Tomorrow, there will be some respite with not as many showers and some sunny spells," Mr Gallagher said.

However, snowy conditions are expected to return tomorrow night.

"We will initially see rain, and a band of sleet moving across the country in a wintry mix increasingly turning to snow," he said.

He said while the snow will be widespread it will not be heavy.

"It will be another cold night tomorrow with temperatures of -2C to -3C, maybe -4C in Ulster," he said. 

"Basically everywhere will wake up to some snow on Sunday, with a couple of centimetres in the midlands and a dusting on the east coast," he added.

Widespread wintry showers and maximum temperatures of 2C to 4C are expected on Sunday.

There will be frost overnight, but the country will "start to warm up" from Monday.

Last night and this morning, areas of Munster and south Leinster experienced snow but it did not meet the criteria for a snow warning from Met Éireann due to conditions like temperature and depth.