Spring on hold as Arctic blasts bring snow

Martin Firth (right) and Des Woodhead drive their vintage tractors through snow across the Pennine tops near Reeth, as unseasonably cold weather returned to parts of the UK.  Pic: John Giles/PA Wire
Martin Firth (right) and Des Woodhead drive their vintage tractors through snow across the Pennine tops near Reeth, as unseasonably cold weather returned to parts of the UK. Pic: John Giles/PA Wire
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JUST WEEKS after the country enjoyed the warmest April day in four years, the balmy weather gave way to overnight snowstorms in remote areas of Yorkshire.

Parts of Britain were hit by the Arctic blast, sending temperatures plunging ealier today, including in some of the highest parts of North Yorkshire such as Reeth.

Farmers on the Pennine hilltops above Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales woke up to a covering of snow and wintry showers continued throughout the morning.

Drivers heading over the Snake Pass, between Sheffield and Manchester, were greeted with views of white-topped hills in glorious sunshine and then had to cope with sudden showers of snow, sleet and hail.

Around 3cm of snow fell in the Highlands of Scotland after storms hit the north of Britain, and Northern Ireland was also struck by sleet and snow showers.

Forecasters warned that the unsettled weather is set to last, putting paid to hopes of an early summer.

The mercury dropped to below freezing or thereabouts in large swathes of Britain last night and into this morning, hitting minus 3 degrees Celsius in parts of Scotland and hovering around freezing on the south coast.

Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said: “The unsettled weather is set to last into next week, meaning those who are hoping for a sunny May bank holiday weekend look set to be disappointed.

“It is a contrast from what we have seen recently for the first three weeks of April - we have been spoilt.”

The outlook for tomorrow is mainly dry with sunny spells, according to the Met Office, with sunny spells and scattered heavy showers likely on Thursday, and drier conditions expected on Friday. The forecast for the bank holiday weekend is mostly cloudy with some outbreaks of rain on Sunday. Unsettled conditions are expected into next week.