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Savour the sun - snow is on its way back to Ulster

It's enough to send a shiver down every sunworshipper’s spine — weather experts are predicting the snow is on its way back.

Just over two weeks since Northern Ireland was battered by its worst snow storms for decades and then enjoyed a week of glorious spring sunshine, the Met Office has forecast wintry showers this weekend over northern and eastern areas.

So it’s not quite time to put away the winter woolies and thermals just yet as a dusting of snow could cover the ground by Monday morning.

The forecast predicts there will be overnight frost in many places, but many western and southern areas especially should see plenty of sunshine and stay mainly dry, with temperatures by day feeling pleasant out of the wind.

Later, a trend to less cold weather can be expected with rain or showers for western and northern areas, with mainly dry weather in the east and south where it may become fairly warm.

Staying dry and settled on Friday with light winds, outbreaks of light rain are expected to move southwards across the country by Sunday.

Brendan Jones from Meteo Group said: “It’s going to be a lot colder than it has been, with winds coming from the north, giving a wintry feel. Towards the end of the weekend expect some heavy rain, hail and sleet showers across Northern Ireland.

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“April is typically a transitional month. Coming out of winter into late spring and early summer, sees alternating between wintry or summer like weather. Temperatures tend to swing wildly, as air masses move around, so it’s going to feel distinctly chillier than it has been.”

The prospect of bad weather will come as a blow to all those hoping for some more fun in the sun this weekend. With everyone making the most of the recent sunshine, news of a bad spell is likely to dampen spirits across the province, not least those of the gardeners.

John Shannon, owner of Inver Garden Centre in Larne said: “The good weather has resulted in people enquiring about tomato plants for glass houses and summer bedding plants. I’m an ethical seller, so I’m telling people that it’s still to early to be putting out half-hardy annuals like petunia, lobelia and marigolds, because the risk of damage is too high. Forget it until the end of April.

“With a cold snap coming, there isn’t too much that people can do to protect their outdoor plants, but bringing any hanging baskets indoors will help.”

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