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Snowfall and sleet cause disruption ahead of bank holiday weekend


A snow covered pavement in Burnley, Lancashire, as the unseasonably cool weather continues

A snow covered pavement in Burnley, Lancashire, as the unseasonably cool weather continues

A snow covered pavement in Burnley, Lancashire, as the unseasonably cool weather continues

An unseasonal mix of snowfall and sleet has caused disruption to those making an early start to the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Flights were cancelled and delayed for passengers after six inches (15cm) of snow fell at Leeds Bradford Airport overnight, forcing the runway to close for part of Friday.

Elsewhere, short bursts of snowfall were seen in places as far south as London.

Motorists looking to take advantage of the three-day weekend have been advised by police to take extra caution following a spike of weather-related collisions in the north of England on Friday morning.

Forecasters have predicted further snow, sleet and hail as May approaches.

Commuters in northern England and southern Scotland awoke on Friday to yellow warnings of snow, while showers of rain and sleet are expected to hit lower levels.

Throughout the day the band of wintry weather carrying thundery downpours is due to move towards the south and east, with occasional sunny spells accompanied by a stiff breeze.

Ahead of the cold front, temperatures are expected to reach 13C (55F) in the South East, while the mercury will creep past 8C (46F) in most parts.

Met Office spokeswoman Emma Sharples said: "There are some snow showers running across the south of England at the moment - we didn't expect it to be as far south as London, but shows how cold the weather is.

"We're going to see things becoming less cold as the weekend progresses, back up to the sort of temperatures we would normally see at this time of year.

"There are some wintry showers around still, particularly in the east and south of Scotland into Saturday. That will be moving further south over the weekend."

After a cold night on Friday, a keen frost is expected to follow on Saturday morning, although the best conditions of the weekend are expected later on.

While it will be a fairly dry day for many, showers are likely in eastern parts of the UK.

Temperatures are expected to reach up to 14C (57F) in the South East, while between 10C (50F) and 12C (54F) is predicted for the rest of the country.

On Sunday, the start of May will see a band of rain move in from the North West, bringing gales that could touch 50mph in some exposed parts, before moving towards the South East throughout the day.

Ahead of the weather front, temperatures could peak at 15C (59F) around London and the Home Counties, while wet weather in the North will be accompanied by temperatures between 12C and 13C (55F).

By Monday the wet and windy weather is expected to cover much of the eastern half of the country, although brighter conditions will move in from the west.

Most of the country is expected to see out the bank holiday with temperatures between 12C and 13C, peaking at 15C in the South East.