Spring given the cold shoulder as snow back on horizon
THE spring sunshine of recent days is set to be given the cold shoulder as wintry weather makes an unwelcome return.
Golden daffodils, warm breezes and Ireland's epic Six Nations triumph all made the cold of winter seem a distant memory.
But hopes that spring had landed must be put on hold, for another few days at least.
Some heavy and thundery showers will take hold in some areas, while snow may even fall over higher ground in parts of the North.
Met Éireann says winter is set to make an unwelcome return this week, as freezing temperatures and heavy rain look set to sweep the nation.
Forecaster Harm Luijkx says this morning will be a wet one, with widespread heavy showers expected across the country.
"It will be cool and breezy," he said, adding "temperatures will vary between 6C and 10C at best."
Skies will clear, and gusts will die down by the evening - but temperatures are set to plummet to -4C during the night.
A deep, widespread frost and risk of dense fog will lead to a threat of dangerous driving conditions during the night with motorists advised to use extreme caution.
The sun will return tomorrow morning with "lots of dry weather and temperatures ranging between 8C and 11C," said Mr Luijkx.
However, tomorrow evening will bring near-freezing temperatures and heavy, wintry showers that will last throughout the night.
"A band of rain will begin to move in from the west coast later in the day, and that rain will spread countrywide then that night.
"It will be a bit cool for the time of year," he added.
"There will be heavy rain throughout the night but it will be mostly a nocturnal affair."
The rain will turn to sleety snow over the mountains tomorrow night and then will start to clear eastwards.
Lowest temperatures will be 0C to 4C, with frost in the east in the evening and around dawn in inland parts of the west and northwest.
Thursday morning will see the rain disappear with clear skies again returning across the nation, with the mercury tipping at 10C.
A lack of cloud will mean widespread frost and fog returning later in the evening.
Unsettled wintry weather will take hold on Friday with forecasters expecting more showers daily and clear skies and frost by nightfall.