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Weather: UK feels the chill but big freeze is on the way

By Hilary Duncanson

The UK and Ireland look set to get their first real taste of winter today.

Scotland is braced for snow as heavy rain and strong winds lash much of the of the UK, causing widespread flooding.

Heavy and persistent snow is forecast north of the border this morning, with 2cm to 5cm likely for many parts and up to 20cm on the highest ground, the Met Office said.

And in the Republic, Met Eireann warned that freezing weather will hit Ireland from today with Friday and Saturday set to be bitterly cold as temperatures sink to -3 degrees overnight.

It said that a "polar low" is approaching the north of the country.

In Northern Ireland, today's maximum temperature is predicted to be 7C.

The Met Office forecasts frequent showers with a fresh to strong westerly wind, possibly gale force along the north coast at first. It will also feel colder with the showers turning wintry on high ground.

Friday through to Sunday will be much brighter here with some sunshine at times along with a few showers which will be wintry at times, especially over higher ground.

Sunday will be mainly dry.

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