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ice cold Status Yellow warning issued ahead of snow, sleet and hail showers

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MET Éireann has issued a Status Yellow Ice and snow warning with heavy wintry showers of hail, sleet and snow to hit tonight.

The alert is valid from midnight tonight and will remain in place until just before midnight on Friday, with Donegal being the worst affected county.

The weather warning came into effect from midnight and will remain in place for the entire country until just before midnight on Saturday as "sharp to severe frosts and icy stretches" are expected.

“It will be cold today with widespread showers early on, some of which will be wintry, along with isolated thunderstorms,” the forecast reads.

“Showers will gradually become confined to Atlantic counties during the afternoon, with some sunny spells developing.

“Showers will turn increasingly wintry as the day progresses with falls of hail, sleet and snow."

Highest temperatures will reach just three to six degrees and will be coldest over Ulster.

“Tomorrow will begin with widespread frost to begin on Friday with some icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

“There'll be sunny spells and further scattered wintry showers, these mainly in Atlantic coastal counties at first but affecting many areas by evening."

The dismal weather will continue into Friday night as the country is battered by scattered showers, some wintry, especially in the north and east.

Saturday will bring further scattered showers with some good sunshine developing throughout the day.

The forecaster says temperatures will reach highs five to eight degrees and there will be some lingering showers in the evening but most areas will be fully dry.

As for Saturday night, it will be "very cold" with lowest temperatures of -3 to two degrees, with a risk of widespread sharp frost.

Sunday is expected to be a largely dry day, but will become "extremely cold" on Sunday night with frost and ice and temperatures dropping to around freezing nationwide.

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