Cold snap blocks thoughts of spring
Snow and sub-zero temperatures are on the way as many parts of the UK brace themselves for a cold snap over the weekend.
Forecasters have warned that a band of rain, sleet and snow is sweeping southwards, with strong, freezing winds making the temperatures feel even colder than they are.
While not record-breaking lows for March, temperatures are below average, with no sign of a respite in the near future, according to Tony Conlan of MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association.
"Saturday is going to be a transition day," he said. "Rain and sleet will affect many areas, turning into snow on northern hills."
It will be a mixed day for different parts of the UK however, with temperatures across most regions being between 3C and 6C, but getting to as high as 15C in parts of south west England, with Torquay likely to be the warmest place.
Over the weekend, wind speeds will increase, going up to as high as 30mph in Devon.
Mr Conlan said: "There will be snow showers on Saturday night, particularly over north-east England and east Scotland. What people will notice then is the strength of the cold, north-easterly wind, which is going to really pick up.
"It will be bitterly cold in the wind and temperatures will mostly stay below zero as we head into Sunday. Sunday will be a day of sunshine and a scattering of snow showers. Much of the UK will see snow, but Scotland and the North East will again see the most snow."
He said that while the weekend would see snow showers for many places, the coldest weather was going to arrive early next week. On Monday, temperatures are unlikely to be above zero anywhere in the country.
"There are no signs of spring anywhere on the horizon," added Mr Conlan.