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Snow hits Donegal, sleet in Dublin and the cold front is spreading

A BLAST of polar air brought an end to the early summer sunshine today with snow reported in Donegal and sleet and hailstones on the East coast.

Just days after parts of the country enjoyed the hottest March weather in more than 50 years, the mercury is set to take a dramatic dip for the week leading up to Easter.

Sleet hit Dublin this afternoon and temperatures are expected to fall below freezing in parts of the country tonight and tomorrow night.

Snow showers are expected to fall on the Wicklow Mountains and at high altitude across the north of the country today, according to Met Eireann.

And the weather over the Easter holiday weekend is expected to be milder and within the normal range for April, with temperatures in the low teens and some rain showers over Friday and Saturday.

Motorists in England faced difficult driving conditions today as snow blanketed parts of the country.

Around seven inches of snow fell in Aviemore in the Highlands overnight as an Arctic weather front bore down on the UK.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for all of Scotland, as well as parts of northern England, Yorkshire and Humber, and the East Midlands.

There were a number of minor collisions and reports of cars sliding off the road in Tayside and Fife where some vehicles also became stuck in the snow in the Largoward and St Monans area.

Roads were closed in some areas due to the weather.

A mountain rescue operation was under way today as nine hillwalkers, including six teenagers, became stuck after heavy snowfall.

Grampian Police said the party was stuck in the Ben MacDui area in the Cairngorms.

The group of three adults and six teenagers contacted a friend by phone to seek help at around 10am this morning.

Police said the hillwalkers got stranded after the overnight snowfall.

Irish Independent