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White Paddy's Day looking unlikely

FORECASTS of snow for St Patrick's Day are not likely to happen in the Dublin area, according to Met Eireann today.

However, next week's Cheltenham Festival could be hit by the weather, as Britain is prepared for a big freeze in the coming days.

It had been feared that Leinster would be caught in the grips of a third big freeze in four months, but it looks like this part of the world could escape for now.

However, while there will be some snowfall on higher grounds over the coming days, a return to the arctic conditions of November and December is unlikely next week.

Forecaster Pat Clarke said that most likely areas to get some snow would be those closest to the North and that Dublin will escape the white stuff.

"There will be 4 to 5cm on hills and mountains (in northern areas) but the east and south will get nothing really," he said.

However, March is such an unpredictable month, these conditions could change in the weeks ahead.

"March has its reputation of getting every sort of weather and it is most definitely living up to that reputation," said Clarke.

"So far this month it has been dry, clear and sunny but we're going to have rain, sleet, frost and icy patches.

"There are a lot of changes happening over the weekend. Temperatures will vary considerably."

Next week's Cheltenham Festival could be hit by the weather, as parts of Britain were this weekend bracingfor freezing conditions.

hnews@herald.ie