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Another Arctic blast -- for Easter

IRELAND will be hit with yet another Arctic blast this week -- expected to bring more chaos.

In the run-up to Easter, Ireland will be hit with strong winds, sleet and even snow beginning as early as tonight.

Met Eireann forecaster Vincent O'Shea warned us to expect excessive rain and snow, particularly in north Leinster, Ulster and other inland areas.

Dubliners should brace themselves for non-stop showers over the next 48 hours, with average temperatures of 4C.

"It will be very wintry. As far as I can see, the weather will be very unsettled. Although it won't be anything like the cold we had in January, on Wednesday and Thursday there will be severe frost," Mr O'Shea told the Herald.

"There will be continuous rain throughout the Dublin and Leinster area, and it may be Wednesday before we see the end of it. Areas of east Leinster and east Munster should expect up to 50mm of rain.

"The Wicklow mountains and other hilly areas in particular should expect serious snow falls -- farmers are especially concerned. For Ulster and Leinster, it could be sleety, the worst of the rain and snow will occur over the next 48 hours."

During one of the coldest winters on record, the country came to a virtual standstill.

The big freeze resulted in a virtual shutdown of a number of the country's essential services.


Winter's return is not expected to be as widespread as the weather fiasco earlier this year.

"This time of year, temperatures can become depressed. Ice and snow will not be as widespread, the disruption and sub- zero freezing temperatures will not be as severe," said Mr O'Shea.

"In Munster and Connacht, the rain will be more intermittent, but there won't be snow.

"With the northwesterly gales, it will feel bitter and raw."

The hostile weather will last until this weekend lasting through Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with no clue to the end of the cold spell.

"It's hard to call, especially inland there will be heavy, drifting snow. It's the nature of Irish weather, it's not the first time this happened and it will happen again."