Cold, wintry Easter expected with rare April snow

White Easter to come as ‘shock to the system’ after spring sunshine, but won’t last long

A rare white Easter may be on the way as cold air descends on the country bringing with it snow and ice.

It will feel like a "shock to the system", according to Met Éireann forecaster Matthew Martin, after the mild, spring weather of recent weeks which has brought some respite to the continuing lockdown.

“It’s the type of weather you would expect in mid-winter. It will feel bitterly cold,” he said.

Cold northerly air will arrive on the northern coasts on Easter Sunday afternoon and then spread across the country.


Temperatures will fall quickly to no more than 4-7 degrees on Sunday, but it will feel much colder due to the wind chill factor.

Sunday night into Monday will see temperatures fall to minus 3 degrees and there is a possibility of widespread snow showers across the country.

Mr Martin said Easter Monday will feel exceptionally cold with wintry showers falling as snow and sleet in places, especially in Ulster.

He said it was rare for there to be snow in April and any snow that has fallen in the past usually falls towards the start of the month.

Because the ground is warm, snow is unlikely to linger for too long.

The rest of Easter week will be cold, though not as cold as Easter Monday, with regular showers.

The long-term forecast for next weekend, however, shows a return to high pressure and the warm and settled weather.

The RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard have issued warnings for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Both organisations emphasise the importance of adherence with Government guidelines on 5km travel and other Covid-related restrictions.

With many people who live near the coast exercising on or alongside the water, the Coast Guard and the RNLI are requesting the public to be cautious when engaging in any coastal or water-based activity.

Irish Coast Guard head of operations, Gerard O’Flynn, added: ‘The past year has seen an increase in activities such as open water swimming, and incidents relating to use of inflatable toys which are unsuitable for open water. Please always be mindful of your personal safety and always ensure that you have a means of communication should you get into difficulty.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times