Cold snap to return over Easter with frost and possible snow

Easter weekend expected to see ‘unsettled weather’ with cooler temperatures

A photograph of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay in Co Mayo taken from an Air Corps plane last month as it returned from patrol. Photograph: Cpl Pat O’Meara, Irish Air Corps

A photograph of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay in Co Mayo taken from an Air Corps plane last month as it returned from patrol. Photograph: Cpl Pat O’Meara, Irish Air Corps

 

Temperatures are set to drop again over the Easter weekend with rain, frost and a chance of snow in some places over the long weekend.

This will be the third such spell of severe cold in recent weeks.

The British Met Office has forecast “unsettled weather” over Easter with widespread rain and temperatures dropping close to freezing. The British forecaster is also expecting snow in parts of northern Britain, a weather system which could also affect Ireland.

Met Éireann is predicting “cool weather” over the weekend with dry, bright spells but also passing showers. It expects temperatures to drop to freezing at night with frost in many places.

Met Éireann forecaster Harm Luijkx said on Friday that while he was reluctant to mention the “s” word, Ireland was also likely to see some snow in the later part of this week, although it will be relatively light.

Any snow is likely to fall in northern and in easterly parts of the country and based on current predictions, will only accumulate on higher ground.

Mr Luijkx said the continuing cold weather in Ireland was the result of atmospheric turbulence which had forced the jet stream to drift to the north of Ireland.

During this winter and spring the jet stream had become disturbed and “Ireland is stuck on the wrong side of it,” he said.

He said a similar weather phenomenon in 2013 had also resulted in a colder than normal Spring.

When the jet stream is over Ireland it brings the mild and wet weather normally associated with this time of year.

“It’s really bad luck,” explained Mr Luijkx. “People will be annoyed with us, but we are only the messenger.”

Weather early this week will remain mild with temperatures reaching 11 degrees Celsius on Monday and 10 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

Met Éireann has issued a status yellow weather warning of gale force winds along coastal waters from Loop Head to Erris Head to Rossan point on Monday night. It has also issued a yellow warning for small crafts on Irish coasts from Rossan Point to Carlingford Lough to Mizen Head.

There will be strong, gusty winds up to gale force along some western and northern coasts on Tuesday with widespread showers spreading through the day. There will be a chance of hail in some places but bright and sunny spells too.

Temperatures will begin to fall on Wednesday with strong winds and heavy showers. This rain may fall as sleet on western and northern hills on Wednesday morning with temperatures between 5-8 degrees Celsius during the day. Wednesday night will be cold and frosty with temperatures dropping below zero.

Thursday is expected to see a mixture of rain and sunshine with temperatures between 5-8 degrees Celsius. Friday will be bright with rain at some times, most likely over the east of the country. The west is expected to see the best of the dry weather.