The country is in for a short spell of fine weather as temperatures rise over the coming days, with good dry spells and plenty of sunshine for many areas.

Met Éireann is forecasting "pleasant spells of spring sunshine" developing across much of Leinster and Munster with highs of up to 18C.

It will be cloudier across west and northwest counties, with some drizzle near coasts, but it will still be very mild. 

Tomorrow will be a little cooler, but still mainly dry and sunny. Temperatures will also reach around 18C on Thursday.

By Friday, there will be highs of 13C during the day before dropping to around -1C in some areas overnight.

For Easter weekend, the weather will become mostly unsettled with widespread showers on Easter Sunday and Monday, with some turning wintry at times.

It will become breezy and turn much cooler as a strengthening northerly airflow sets in with widespread frosts at night.

Elsewhere, the UK has recorded its second warmest March day on record and the hottest in 53 years, the Met Office said.

The mercury peaked at 24.5C at Kew Gardens in west London.

That falls slightly below the UK's hottest ever March temperature of 25.6C, recorded in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: "It is exceptionally high for the time of year. It's the second warmest March day on record."