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Cold with springtime wintry showers

We are seeing a change to colder weather across the UK, with chilly days, frosty nights and snow for some.

An arctic maritime airmass is spreading southwards across the whole country early this week which will come as quite a shock. Spring has been dry and relatively warm so far with the UK mean temperature for the first half of April 1.1 °C above the long term average.

Over the weekend an area of low pressure passed over northern Scotland, bringing a spell of wet and windy weather. As this area of low pressure pulls away into the North Sea a push of cold arctic air will follow, leading to a marked change of weather for all parts with frosts becoming much more widespread overnight.

Andy Page, Chief Meteorologist said: "It will certainly feel colder in the wake of the cold front moving south across the UK today, with many northern areas seeing wintry showers even to low levels."

Yellow Weather warnings for snow are in place for Scotland and parts of north east England, for more information see our recently updated National Severe Weather Warnings pages.

In the north, showers will bring a mix of sleet, snow and hail, which could be seen even at low levels at times. Some accumulation of snow is likely, particularly at night and at higher elevations. In the south some wintry showers, especially hail, are expected, although lying snow looks unlikely. The cold feel across the UK will be accentuated by a cold northerly wind.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “It is the threat – and unpredictability – of the wintry showers that will potentially frustrate drivers’ travel plans, especially for those further north. Hail, sleet and snow can all make driving conditions treacherous so the best advice is to check the weather forecast before setting out and be prepared for a longer journey, especially if you are travelling any great distance.

“If you’re faced with an iced-up car this week, don’t be tempted to quickly boil the kettle to clear it – scalding water can cause windscreens to crack, so always use a proper de-icer spray.”

It’s not that unusual to see frost and wintry showers at this point in April. Spring is a season of contrasts as we move from the colder months of winter to the warmth of summer. In fact last year around this time we saw a similar weather pattern across the UK.

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