A Status Red snow and ice warning has been put into effect for all counties with blizzard conditions expected from early on Thursday afternoon.

The warning came into effect at 11pm Wednesday evening and will remain in place until 3pm on Friday.

The storm is expected to spread northwards across the country from Thursday afternoon, bringing heavy snow and strong easterly winds.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called on people to heed public safety warnings about the blizzard conditions that are expected.

Speaking at a news conference with the National Emergency Coordination Group this evening, Mr Varadkar said we are facing extremely hazardous conditions with exceptional blizzards likely.

He warned people to be safe at home by 4pm on Thursday.

He also said that employers must access if it is safe for people to turn up for work.

Mr Varadkar said conditions like this have not been experienced in Ireland since 1982.