| -0.2°C Dublin

Snow on way as we face into big freeze

THE mild winter is over -- Ireland is facing into a big freeze.

Although it is officially the first day of spring, temperatures here are set to plummet to -5C and the country is going to be battered with rain, sleet and even snow in parts.

Gritting machines were dispatched on to city roads this morning as frost and ice created treacherous driving conditions.

Although there is good sunshine across the country, afternoon temperatures expected to reach no higher than 6C as wind chill and wintry showers bring temperatures right down.

A severe frost is on the cards tonight as Met Eireann said the mostly clear skies will provide little coverage and temperatures will fall to -5 degrees.

Forecasters in the UK have already issued a warning for heavy sleet and snow in south Wales. And weather forecasters here are predicting that snow is on the way for some parts of the country on Friday.

"Cloud will very gradually encroach the country from the Atlantic, with outbreaks of rain and drizzle slowly feeding in across the western half of the country," Met Eireann said.