Nature springs surprise at coldest Easter

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It was a tale of two springs in Yorkshire as the region’s coastline enjoyed a sunny Easter weekend while colossal snow drifts on higher ground inland showed no sign of melting.

Forecasters confirmed yesterday was the coldest Easter Sunday on record, with temperatures dipping to -12.5C (9.5F) despite marking the first day of British Summer Time after the clocks went forward.

The last coldest Easter day since modern records began in 1960 was Easter Monday in 1986, when the mercury dropped to -9.8C (14.3F) the Met Office said.

Last month has been provisionally declared the coldest March in half a century, with an average temperature of 2.5C (36.5F).

Today is expected to remain cold and there are warnings the bitter conditions could grip the UK until mid-April.

The unseasonably cold weather has forced the cancellation of spring judging for Yorkshire in Bloom for the first time in the competition’s history.

Judges had been set to travel across the region from this week until April 12 to assess the efforts of close to 180 cities, towns, villages and other communities.

Entries are normally assessed twice but this year’s awards will be based on the summer judging only, which will take place in July.

Chairman Brendan Mowforth said: “I do not believe Yorkshire in Bloom has ever had to cancel a judging period.

“The decision has not been made lightly, and is based on the prolonged severe weather conditions we are currently experiencing, which have followed on from the initial possibility of a drought early last summer, to flooding, snow, severe frosts and freezing easterly winds through autumn, winter and now spring.

“In the last 12 months gardeners all over Yorkshire have been challenged to the highest level.”

He said many entrants might not have anything to show judges during the spring judging period.

Full forecast: Back Page.