While revellers enjoying the weekend and sports fans watching the rugby today will enjoy some sunny, albeit cold weather, it is set to be followed by icy winds and frigid temperatures up to six degrees lower than normal. These becoming increasingly prolonged, with another widespread sharp frost expected.
"It will be similar to a cold period seen in spring 2013 and is very likely to be colder as it is slightly earlier in the year meaning the sun is not as strong.Significant snow showers will sweep the United Kingdom from Monday bringing heavy frost and the risk of widespread disruption".
Forecaster Nick Finnis said: "The easterly wind will be a noticeable feature as it strengthens further through the weekend, bringing more in the way of cloud and perhaps snow flurries to eastern coastal areas, but generally making it feel raw in the wind".
The Met Office said the last time the United Kingdom was hit by a similar weather event was in 2013.
Freezing conditions are on the way for next week with a significant wind chill and severe frosts.
"Some rural communities could become cut off. Power cuts may also occur and other services, such as mobile phones, may be affected". Disruptive snow showers are expected from Tuesday onwards, particularly in the east and southeast'.
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"High pressure centred over Scandinavia and northeast Europe will dominate the weather pattern, dragging in bitterly cold air from the east".
Shoppers, sports fans and revellers will enjoy bouts of sunshine both today and tomorrow before Ireland falls fully into the grip of the freezing weather front.
"We refer to March 1 as being the first day of spring and of course March 1 will be right in the middle of this cold spell, so spring will be postponed for a couple of weeks, shall we say". However it will remain cold, with a strengthening southeasterly breeze.
Monday should see the first of the snow as temperatures plummet to -4C on Monday night.
Very cold, with brisk winds and overnight frosts. It will be largely sunny before snow showers spread west overnight.