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Winter returns as cold snap brings snow

Published 16/04/2016

Plunging temperatures brought snow to mainly higher ground
Plunging temperatures brought snow to mainly higher ground

A cold snap brought a sudden end to the warm Spring weather as parts of the UK woke to snow on Saturday.

Social media was awash with people reporting a dusting of the white stuff across the West Midlands and even in some northern parts of Wales and south Lincolnshire.

The UK basked in temperatures of 18C and sunshine earlier in the week, but cooler and more wintry conditions arrived in Britain for the start of the weekend.

Chris Page, from the Met Office, said the snow is "very patchy in nature" with "only a few bursts".

"It is very isolated and really it is confined mainly to high ground - but where the showers linger for a time we could see snow showers down to lower levels," he said.

There might be snowfall of around one centimetre on ground of above 200 metres - in places such as the Cotswolds and the Chilterns on Saturday, he said.

"At this time of year the strength of the sun is quite strong so the snow is not really that likely to hang around," he added.

Mr Page said a combination of northerly airflow and April showers has caused the weather change, but said it is not that unusual to see "a dusting" at this time of year.

On Saturday temperatures in the north are expected to reach a maximum of 8C with mercury topping 10C in the far south.

Sunshine and rain are expected in northern and central parts of the UK and some of the showers could turn heavy with a risk of thunder and sleet.

Overnight showers will die away and clear conditions will be ushered in - with ice and frost patches forming on damp surfaces.

Temperatures are expected to be "chilly" with the mercury dropping to around 1C in cities and down to -3C in rural areas.

Across the south east, Mr Page said there will be some frost patches but they "will not be as widespread as they are across the north of the country".

Tomorrow will see a bright start across Wales and central and southern England, with more cloud around in northern Scotland and England.

Sunday will be largely dry with sunny spells and the chance of isolated outbreaks of rain across western Scotland. Temperatures will reach around 10C in northern parts and up to 14C in the south.

With snow falling across parts of the UK Ladbrokes have trimmed the odds to 6/4 that the thermometer drops to -10C this weekend, while it's a 9/2 shot April secures itself as the coldest month if -15C or lower is reached.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "The odds are falling as quick as the snow. April's been a bonkers month and it could still get worse yet."

The fall in temperature also brought snowfall to Aberdeenshire and central Scotland.

In some parts of north-east Scotland up to 3cm of snow fell in the early hours of Saturday.

The weather should be good news for Scotland's ski areas as they hope to remain open throughout spring.

Glencoe, CairnGorm and the Nevis Range areas have all reported good snowfall with the majority of runs still open.

While skiers enjoy the weather, the Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service has warned walkers and climbers to prepare for winter conditions on the highest mountains.

The avalanche risk in the Cairngorms is described as "considerable" but "moderate" across other popular regions.

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