Additional beds are to be made available for people sleeping rough, ahead of exceptionally cold weather which is forecast for the next week.

Met Éireann is warning of exceptionally cold weather this week with "disruptive" snow showers to hit the country on Tuesday.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said the Department of Housing has been asked to make contact with local authorities and homeless agencies in relation to people sleeping rough.

Additional bed spaces will be made available in the Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has secured an additional 84 beds, and 'one night only' beds will remain open on a 24-hour basis. 

"Rough sleepers require additional supports and the Government is working hard to implement solutions. Extensive efforts have been made to deliver new accommodation with over 200 new beds provided in the Dublin region towards the end of 2017," said Mr Murphy.

Two outreach teams will be working on the streets to encourage rough sleepers to come into shelter.

The Government Task Force on Emergency Planning is to meet tomorrow, with significant wind chill and severe frosts forecast for the week ahead.

A Status Yellow low temperature warning is in place for tonight with temperatures to fall as low as -3C.

A Status Yellow weather warning is also in place from today until Saturday.

"Air and ground temperatures will be five to ten degrees below normal, with significant wind chill and penetrating severe frosts," according to Met Éireann.

"Snow showers, mainly affecting eastern areas on Tuesday, will progressively become more widespread and heavier through midweek, with significant and disruptive accumulations."

Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly said: "Strong winds will sweep through Ireland during the week. There will be sub-zero temperatures during the day on Thursday with strong winds and heavy snowfall."

She said the bad weather is due to a Siberian easterly, anti-cyclone which is centred over Scandinavia at the moment.

Ms Donnelly said that Dublin and the east coast are likely to get the most snow.

"When it does snow in the east, we tend to get more of it," said Ms Donnelly.

The reason for this, said Ms Donnelly, is because of the onset of cold easterly weather. Ireland usually gets westerly winds with mild, damp conditions.

Irish Water has mobilised its crisis management arrangements to deal with operational impacts of the expected weather.

For advice on preparing for and dealing with extremely cold conditions and snow, see winterready.ie.