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Cold snap Met Éireann says temperatures to drop below zero tonight as unsettled week expected

Temperatures will drop as low as -1C to 4C and fresh to strong westerly winds will ease light in the south

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Unsettled conditions are forecast for the week ahead with a mix of rain and some clear spells.

Met Éireann meteorologist Mark Bowe said showers will stay heavy and persistent for a time today in the north and northwest.

“The active weather overnight brought plenty of showers and gusty winds across the country, so we’ll be seeing the end of those showers throughout the day, and it’ll start to fine up especially in the east and southeast,” he said.

“Really the southern half of the country will be the better half today.”

Highest temperatures will range between 8C to 11C in strong and gusty southwest winds, moderating through the afternoon and evening.

It will be breezy tonight with clear spells and showers, turning persistent across the northern half of the country, falling as snow or sleet at times on hills and mountains.

Temperatures will drop as low as -1C to 4C and fresh to strong westerly winds will ease light in the south.

Mr Bowe said cloud and rain in the north will clear on Monday and sunny weather will develop later in the day with highest temperatures of 9C to 12C. There will be light to moderate westerly breezes, still fresh for a time in the north.

It will be dry on Monday night with clear skies and lowest temperatures of -1C to 3C with a frost forming, mainly in the south and east with southerly breezes increasing fresh to strong on Atlantic coasts later in the night.

Tuesday will start dry with cloud building through the morning and rain arriving in the west by afternoon. During the afternoon and evening, rain will extend gradually eastwards.

Highest temperatures will range between 7C to 10C in light to moderate southerly winds.

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There will be rain and drizzle on Tuesday night, most persistent in the east of the country with lowest temperatures of 0C to 4C with winds falling light southerly.

Wednesday will be rather cloudy with rain and drizzle clearing from the east with drier and clearer weather by evening. Highest temperatures between 7C to 9C with light to moderate northwest breezes.

Mr Bowe said St Patrick's Day looks to be a mainly dry day with some sunshine and just isolated showers early in the day.

“There will be one or two showers pushing into the west and northwest but definitely in the east and southeast it should be fine and dry for most of the day,” he said.

“Afternoon temperatures on Thursday should reach about 12C or 13C with light to moderate southwest breezes falling light southeast later.”

“Lowest temperatures on Thursday night are about 1C to 4C, coldest in the southeast because there will be more cloud in the northwest, which will help keep temperatures a little bit higher.”

Current indications suggest the settled spell that starts on Wednesday night will continue into the weekend with sunshine, light winds and temperatures of 13C or 14C in the afternoon and clear skies at night allowing temperatures to fall below freezing bringing frost.

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