A variety of weather is expected across the UK over the Easter weekend, often on the cold side with showers and longer spells of rain at times, but there will also be drier spells with some sunshine for people to get out and enjoy the long weekend.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “The Easter period will bring a variety of Spring weather from sunshine and showers, to more prolonged cloudy and wet conditions, along with some snow in the north: chiefly over the hills. So, there will be opportunities to get outside and enjoy the weekend, and you can use the rainfall radar on the Met Office app to keep track of where the rain is and when is best to get outdoors.”

After a dry and cloudy start for many, Friday will bring more prolonged rain to the south of the UK, whilst wintry showers will affect some parts of the north. There will be quite a range of temperatures with areas in the south reaching double figures whilst some parts of Scotland struggle to get above 5 °C or so.

Saturday will see sunny intervals and showers, these wintry in the north, whilst in the south they could be heavy with the chance of thunder and hail. There is also the possibility of more prolonged rain and hill snow for parts of northern England. Overnight into Sunday it will turn quite cold, with widespread frost expected in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Temperatures here could drop to as low as ­-5 °C.

Sunday will be a day of sunshine and showers, before further rain is likely to move in from the south on Monday morning, which could bring further snow to northern hills as it heads north during the day.

With such a variety of weather over the next few days Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturist at the RHS, provides some advice on how to keep your garden in the best shape: "Gardeners dread spring frosts as these can nip the new flowers of fruit and other plants such as magnolias, but in many cases vulnerable flowers in the north will still be in bud, the growing season starting much later in the north than in the south, and won’t be harmed.

"Most spring flowers, daffodils and primroses for example are incredibly tolerant of bad weather despite their delicate looks and won’t be much hurt by chill or rain. Tender plants though should be kept indoors until warmer conditions prevail.

"In the south where frost is less likely there is a risk of hail. Hail unfortunately disfigures flowers so where possible cover your most delicate blooms or move container grown plants under cover. Many delicate blooms such as camellia like shade so growing these under tree boughs will enhance their growth and offer some hail protection."

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