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Heavens set to open before papal visit as Met Éireann warns of heavy downpours

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Brollies at the ready 
Photo: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

Brollies at the ready Photo: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

Brollies at the ready Photo: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

Met Éireann has warned that Ireland could be hit with rain, hail and thunder over the next two days - but Saturday is set to see a return to dry weather for Pope Francis's visit to Dublin.

Heavy showers with a chance of thunder are predicted for this afternoon across the north and northwest, with temperatures reaching highs of up to 18C.

More rain is expected on Friday and there is also a chance of hail, with temperatures ranging between a "cool and breezy" 13 to 17 degrees.

Saturday will see a return to sunshine for most of the country but there is the chance of isolated showers.

Later that night, rain will spread into western counties overnight accompanied by extensive mist and hill fog.

Sunday will be mostly cloudy and cool with occasional outbreaks of rain, again with low cloud and hill mist and moderate south or southwest winds.

While next week will see a return to the mild, warm weather experienced recently, with temperatures becoming warmer again and "a lot of dry weather and lot winds," the national forecaster said.

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