Snow and gale force winds will hit over Easter weekend as 'Arctic trough' follows mini-heatwave

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Snow and gale force winds could arrive this weekend as recent sunny weather is replaced with an ‘Arctic trough’ – with temperatures for Monday falling as low as 5C. 

The Met Office said that despite the almost record-setting March conditions earlier this week, temperatures would decline steadily and by Monday would struggle to reach double digits.

Parts of the UK saw temperatures reach nearly 24C (75.2F) on Wednesday, with Weybourne, north Norfolk, leading the way at a peak of 23.9C (75F).

But the figure fell just shy of the nation’s hottest ever March temperature of 25.6C (78F), which was recorded in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

The Met Office said the ‘marked change’ in temperature was due to the country entering an ‘Arctic trough’ and colder conditions were expected to last through next week.

Earlier today Ladbrokes cut its odds of snowfall on Easter. The bookies now make it just 5/4 that snow falls anywhere in the UK on Sunday with temperatures set to take another dip.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘The odds are tumbling with the temperatures and while it once looked like this Easter might be a scorcher, it could well be quite the opposite on the weather front with snow on the way over the coming days.’

Despite warnings that temperatures could drop, Met Police has urged Londoners to stay responsible over the weekend. 

While the UK's mini-heatwave has started to ease off, there is still sunshine about today in Hyde Park, London. However, by the weekend temperatures are expected to turn much colder - with the odds of snow falling on Easter Sunday currently at 5/4

While the UK’s mini-heatwave has started to ease off, there is still sunshine about today in Hyde Park, London. However, by the weekend temperatures are expected to turn much colder – with the odds of snow falling on Easter Sunday currently at 5/4

Nicola Maxey, spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: ‘There are some blustery winds around, particularly along the east coast, as we go through the weekend.

‘It’s a marked change from what we saw on Wednesday and by the end of Friday we’re really all in this cold air – we’re in an Arctic trough.’

Ms Maxey said that parts of the south would hang on to warmer temperatures for the longest but that by early next week the entire country would be in single figures.

Sunny skies are still expected across large parts of the country on Friday with highs of 14C (57.2F) in the south east and London.

Visitors have flocked to Southsea in Hampshire today as Britain marked the first week back since the Rule of Six returned. So far temperatures have been lower than the  last couple of days. They are expected to drop further by next week

Visitors have flocked to Southsea in Hampshire today as Britain marked the first week back since the Rule of Six returned. So far temperatures have been lower than the  last couple of days. They are expected to drop further by next week 

By Monday, temperatures could drop to as low as 5C in Leeds, following near-record breaking March temperatures this week. Today, families wore coats and hats as they headed outside to St Nicholas' Park in Warwick

By Monday, temperatures could drop to as low as 5C in Leeds, following near-record breaking March temperatures this week. Today, families wore coats and hats as they headed outside to St Nicholas’ Park in Warwick

Visitors to Southsea stuck within groups of six today as part of new Covid-19 guidelines that started on Monday, but the arrival of an 'Arctic trough' could see snow arrive in the coming days

Visitors to Southsea stuck within groups of six today as part of new Covid-19 guidelines that started on Monday, but the arrival of an ‘Arctic trough’ could see snow arrive in the coming days 

The lifting of a travel ban meant more people could return to their work commute, and enjoy their lunch breaks in some of the Capital's greener spots, like beside Tower Bridge

The lifting of a travel ban meant more people could return to their work commute, and enjoy their lunch breaks in some of the Capital’s greener spots, like beside Tower Bridge 

Ladbroke has slashed odds on snow falling anywhere in the UK on Sunday to 5/4. Today, friends took advantage of news rules allowing outdoor sport by playing football in Warwick

Ladbroke has slashed odds on snow falling anywhere in the UK on Sunday to 5/4. Today, friends took advantage of news rules allowing outdoor sport by playing football in Warwick

Bournemouth was among the busier seaside spots this afternoon as families travelled to the south coast to enjoy the sunshine

Bournemouth was among the busier seaside spots this afternoon as families travelled to the south coast to enjoy the sunshine

Groups stuck to the Rule of Six at Bournemouth beach today. Temperatures int he south east and London are expected to fall to around 12C on Saturday

Groups stuck to the Rule of Six at Bournemouth beach today. Temperatures int he south east and London are expected to fall to around 12C on Saturday

Met Police has urged Britons to stay cautious this Bank Holiday weekend, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said: 'We don't want to become complacent'. Pictured: Bournemouth beach today

Met Police has urged Britons to stay cautious this Bank Holiday weekend, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said: ‘We don’t want to become complacent’. Pictured: Bournemouth beach today

On Saturday, temperatures in the south east and London are expected to be about 12C (53.6F) and, further north, Manchester and Leeds could see highs of 13C (55.4F) and 10C (50F) respectively.

But, by Monday, London may drop to 8C (46.4F), Manchester 7C (44.6F) and Leeds a chilly 5C (41F).

The Met Office said the warmer temperatures were more unusual than the cold temperatures for the end of March.

‘But it’s the colder temperatures that people will remember and note,’ said Ms Maxey.

While some groups decided to sit on the grass, others sat in deck chairs, desperate to take advantage of London's mini-heatwave before the weather turns colder this weekend

While some groups decided to sit on the grass, others sat in deck chairs, desperate to take advantage of London’s mini-heatwave before the weather turns colder this weekend

By Monday temperatures in London could drop to 8C, the Met Office said the warmer temperatures were more unusual than the cold temperatures for this time of year

By Monday temperatures in London could drop to 8C, the Met Office said the warmer temperatures were more unusual than the cold temperatures for this time of year

While the sudden change in weather may seem strange, the Met Office has said 'It's not unusual to see these big swings in spring'. Pictured: Tower Bridge earlier today

While the sudden change in weather may seem strange, the Met Office has said ‘It’s not unusual to see these big swings in spring’. Pictured: Tower Bridge earlier today

‘It’s not unusual to see these big swings in Spring – it’s a transition period between winter and summer.

‘The cold will be with us for much of next week, and with any showers you could see the possibility of snow falling over high ground in northern areas – the Pennines, Cumbria, Scotland.’

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, leading the Met’s strategic response to Covid-19, said: ‘While we welcome the limited relaxation of rules, we don’t want to become complacent.

‘We are hugely grateful to the vast majority of Londoners who have played a vital part in controlling the spread of the virus up to now. After a long and difficult few months, let’s not undo all of that hard work now.

‘With nice weather on the way, we can expect to see parks and beauty spots busier than usual. Please stay safe and continue to follow the rules. Don’t crowd in open spaces and do follow the rule of six, or, only meet up with one other household.

‘Wherever possible, we should continue to be vigilant, minimise our contact as much as possible, wear a face covering where required and keep ourselves safe. That means avoiding any large gathering.

Visitors enjoyed a drink beside Tower Bridge in London this afternoon as the last of Britain's mini-heatwave looks set to come to a close

Visitors enjoyed a drink beside Tower Bridge in London this afternoon as the last of Britain’s mini-heatwave looks set to come to a close

While the weather wasn't as bright as the rest of this week, Londoners were determined to get outside and enjoy some spring sunshine beside Tower Hill

While the weather wasn’t as bright as the rest of this week, Londoners were determined to get outside and enjoy some spring sunshine beside Tower Hill 

A Met Office forecaster predicted: 'The cold will be with us for much of next week, and with any showers you could see the possibility of snow falling over high ground in northern areas - the Pennines, Cumbria, Scotland'

A Met Office forecaster predicted: ‘The cold will be with us for much of next week, and with any showers you could see the possibility of snow falling over high ground in northern areas – the Pennines, Cumbria, Scotland’ 

‘We cannot allow the selfish actions of a small minority of people to jeopardise the efforts of this city. We will continue to shut down house parties or dangerous raves quickly, taking enforcement action by handing out fines. We make no apology for our tough stance on shutting down those large gatherings which pose a serious risk to public health.

‘Met officers will be highly visible in communities and neighbourhoods, including open spaces, engaging with the public. We want to work together with Londoners to keep everyone safe.’

The RAC urged people to check their vehicles ahead of travelling over the Easter period.

RAC Breakdown spokesman, Rod Dennis, said: ‘We anticipate a sharp rise in breakdowns as a result of a return to much colder weather over the next week.

‘Cars whose batteries are on their last legs might finally fail as temperatures plummet.

While Londoners could enjoy the sunshine in Hyde Park earlier today, the RAC has warned people to avoid breakdowns as colder weather prepares to blow in

While Londoners could enjoy the sunshine in Hyde Park earlier today, the RAC has warned people to avoid breakdowns as colder weather prepares to blow in

Nicola Maxey, spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: 'There are some blustery winds around, particularly along the east coast, as we go through the weekend'. Today the weather remained settled along the River Avon in Warwick

Nicola Maxey, spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: ‘There are some blustery winds around, particularly along the east coast, as we go through the weekend’. Today the weather remained settled along the River Avon in Warwick

Parts of the UK saw temperatures reach nearly 24C (75.2F) on Wednesday, with Weybourne, Norfolk, leading the way at a peak of 23.9C (75F). Pictured: Hyde Park earlier today

Parts of the UK saw temperatures reach nearly 24C (75.2F) on Wednesday, with Weybourne, Norfolk, leading the way at a peak of 23.9C (75F). Pictured: Hyde Park earlier today

Despite yesterday's warm weather, the figure fell just shy of the nation's hottest ever March temperature of 25.6C (78F), which was recorded in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire. Pictured: Packed benches in Hyde Park earlier on today

Despite yesterday’s warm weather, the figure fell just shy of the nation’s hottest ever March temperature of 25.6C (78F), which was recorded in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire. Pictured: Packed benches in Hyde Park earlier on today

While the Easter weekend and eased Covid restrictions may encourage people to travel over the weekend, the RAC has urged people to check their cars are safe to drive in colder weather

While the Easter weekend and eased Covid restrictions may encourage people to travel over the weekend, the RAC has urged people to check their cars are safe to drive in colder weather

The RAC urged drivers to check their oil, coolant and washer fluid levels as well as the condition and pressure of tyres. Pictured: Hyde Park in London earlier

The RAC urged drivers to check their oil, coolant and washer fluid levels as well as the condition and pressure of tyres. Pictured: Hyde Park in London earlier

While groups enjoyed a drink on the grass in Hyde Park today, Met Office spokeswoman Ms Maxey added that a potential drop of 10 degrees in five days would be relevant for gardeners and farmers

While groups enjoyed a drink on the grass in Hyde Park today, Met Office spokeswoman Ms Maxey added that a potential drop of 10 degrees in five days would be relevant for gardeners and farmers

lex Apati of Ladbrokes said: 'The odds are tumbling with the temperatures and while it once looked like this Easter might be a scorcher, it could well be quite the opposite on the weather front with snow on the way over the coming days.' Pictured: Hyde Park earlier today

lex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘The odds are tumbling with the temperatures and while it once looked like this Easter might be a scorcher, it could well be quite the opposite on the weather front with snow on the way over the coming days.’ Pictured: Hyde Park earlier today

‘Those heading out would do well to make sure their vehicles are up to the task by checking oil, coolant and washer fluid levels as well as the condition and pressure of tyres.’

Ms Maxey added that a potential drop of 10 degrees in five days would be relevant for gardeners and farmers.

‘People will have put out plants in the sunshine,’ she said.

‘Also for people in the farming industry, it’s the type of weather where you’ve got lambs in the field and quite strong winds and wind chill.

‘It turns windy in the north from Sunday with gales possible in northern areas locally, and across northern isles, Scotland.

‘We’re looking at possible gale force winds across the northern half and the west side of the UK.’

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