Large parts of Scotland and the north of England – and even as far south as London – had snow flurries on Monday morning as temperatures dropped by an average of 11C overnight.
The Arctic winds responsible for the snow showers are expected to continue into the week, with most of the country at risk of snow or hail on Tuesday as temperatures will struggle to rise above 9C, even in the south of England.
About 6cm of snow settled on Orkney in the north of Scotland, where yellow weather warnings were in place, while people in cities including Aberdeen, Manchester and Sheffield posted videos online of substantial snow showers.
The bitterly cold weather comes after a sunny bank holiday weekend when a high of 17.9C was recorded at Pershore, Worcestershire, on Easter Sunday.
The Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said the cold weather was not particularly unusual as snow is more common at Easter than over Christmas. “But it is a big contrast to the mild weather we’ve seen over the last couple of days,” he said.
“For much of the day today, most of the wintry showers or snow showers will be in the north, and then starting to extend a bit more south tonight into tomorrow. We’ve got warnings for snow and ice for Northern Ireland and Wales that come into force as we go into the evening, and further warnings for snow across Scotland tomorrow as well.”
He said snow and hail could develop almost anywhere in the UK on Tuesday. “But given the strength of the sun this time of the year, it’s unlikely to really settle. It might just locally settle on grass verges or on hills.”
Temperatures are likely to pick up on Wednesday and Thursday but drop again on Friday.
A cold snap at this time of year is bad news for farmers, who are in the midst of lambing season. Phil Stocker, the chief executive of the National Sheep Association, said low temperatures could bring “devastation and soul-destroying losses” during lambing time.
“The sector has endured several cold weather events during recent springs and these have wrought considerable hardship to both stock and hill farmers. However, being aware of the approaching change in weather type will allow farmers to buffer the impacts by taking action to avoid the worst losses,” Stocker said.
Gardeners are advised to take care with what is planted out. Guy Barter, the chief horticulturist at the Royal Horticultural Society, said: “Overnight frosts in April are dreaded by gardeners. Magnolia and camellia flowers are ruined, fruit blossom and young fruitlets including pears and apples are spoiled and the tender tips of potatoes will be burnt off if they appear above ground.
“Gardener’s hearts are in their mouths through April as they anxiously scan the weather forecasts for frost warnings, ready to rush out and cover vulnerable plants to ward off damage.”
Source: Thanks msn.com