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Big chill Parts of Munster and Leinster to be hit by snow ahead of 'widespread severe frost'

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Lucas Evans (3) and his mother Gill, from Lucan, play in the snow in Glencree in Glencree, Co Wicklow.

Lucas Evans (3) and his mother Gill, from Lucan, play in the snow in Glencree in Glencree, Co Wicklow.

Lucas Evans (3) and his mother Gill, from Lucan, play in the snow in Glencree in Glencree, Co Wicklow.

Parts of Munster and Leinster are expecting snow today as the rest of the country freezes under a blanket of ice and frost.

While temperatures will rise slightly in most places, Munster and Leinster will stay cloudier, with wintry showers of rain, hail, sleet and some snow.

And the mercury is set to plunge again tonight, plummeting as low as minus three degrees in some parts of the country.

The national forecaster is warning of "widespread severe frost" in many areas amid a spell of weather as cold as we've seen over recent months.

"Tonight will be very cold with clear spells and widespread severe frost with ice in many areas as temperatures fall to between -3 and +1 degrees, coldest in Connacht and Ulster,” Met Eireann said.

“But showers of rain, hail, sleet and snow will continue to affect parts of Leinster and Munster."

Tuesday will continue very cold with frost and ice clearing very slowly and persisting in some areas. Dry over much of the country with sunny spells. Wintry showers of rain, hail, sleet and snow will continue to affect parts of Leinster and east Munster. Daytime temperatures will reach just one to four degrees with moderate north to northeast breezes.

Tuesday night will be cold with a widespread sharp or severe frost and ice in many areas. Most areas will be dry with clear spells. However, scattered wintry showers of hail, sleet or snow will affect the eastern half of Leinster. Lowest temperatures will plunge to a chilly -3 to +2 degrees.

Wednesday will continue very cold with sunny spells and with frost and ice clearing slowly, but lingering in some areas. Daytime highs will remain below five degrees, with highs of just two to four degrees in light northwest breezes.

Cloud will increase in the northwest later. During the evening rain will develop in the northwest and will spread south-eastwards throughout Wednesday night, falling as sleet or snow in some areas. Lowest temperatures of -2 to two degrees with frost and icy patches in many areas.

On Thursday morning, rain, sleet and snow will continue to move southwards and will clear in the afternoon with sunny spells and some wintry showers in Ulster and Connacht. Highest temperatures of two to four degrees with light westerly winds become north-westerly. Thursday night will be cold and mainly dry with clear spells and a widespread severe frost and icy patches.

Friday will be cold and mainly dry with sunny spells and highs of two to five degrees with light northerly breezes. There'll be a widespread severe frost on Friday night.

Next weekend will continue mainly dry. But it will become somewhat cloudier with a little patchy rain or drizzle at times. It will be less cold also with daytime temperatures of three to seven degrees on Saturday and four to eight degrees on Sunday. The frost will be less widespread and less severe.

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