Met Éireann issues snow warning for St Patrick's weekend

Up to 10cm (4in) of snow could fall in some parts of the country this weekend as temperatures are set to tumble.

But the county escaped the worst of the weather with only the extreme west highlands being badly hit.

Yellow "be aware" warnings for snow and ice affect much of the England and Wales, central and south-west Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland until Sunday evening.

Amber warnings are in place for the North West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, Yorkshire and Humber and South East England.

"Amounts of snow are likely to vary considerably across the area".

On Sunday the warning of snow and ice has been expanded to cover the whole region, remaining in place from 12.05am on Sunday until 11.55pm, with snow showers "likely to continue" throughout the day.

Drivers are being urged to avoid parts of the M62 and M1 motorways tonight after Highways England issued a severe weather alert for snow.

The Met Office said: "Snow accumulations will be variable across the area as showers are expected to organise into bands".

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Gardaí have issued a weather warning to motorists asking them to heedlocal weather conditions, although they stopped short of advising them not to take unnecessary journeys.

"An alert from Public Health England read: "[It] may come as a shock to the system for some whose bodies may struggle to cope in cold weather.

Meteorologist Martin Bowles said the weekend's weather could be dubbed a "mini beast from the east".

Windy.com also provides live snow tracking for the next three days, which show as the freezing winds and new snow accumulations hit the United Kingdom east coast. "These small things can make a big difference to someone's health and wellbeing".

One snow-watcher who contributed to the map said: "Some fat flakes swirling around in Reading - trying very hard to start settling".

"Accommodation also comes with an offer of housing advice to see if trained staff can provide longer term help".

BBC Weather presenter Ben Rich said a more persistent area of snow began to develop over south-eastern areas and the Midlands on Saturday afternoon and is starting to drift further west.

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said: "The best way to describe this is as a real return to wintry conditions".

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