Harbinger of spring as arctic blasts threaten

AS WEATHER forecasters warned a cold snap was on its way later this week there is a corner of Yorkshire where a bit of spring has arrived early.

Lane End Farm, in Tong, Bradford, has just welcomed its latest new arrivals with the birth of twin lambs.

Their mother is a special Dorset breed that can produce lambs at any time of the year, not just in spring, and over the next few days farmer Martin Hare is expecting even more new arrivals with more ewes expecting.

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Mr Hare said: "They can stay inside until after Christmas and hopefully if there is no snow or frost they can go outside."

The news of the new arrivals came as forecasters warned arctic blasts are set to sweep the country this week, bringing snow as winter tightens its grip for the season's first big chill.

Aisling Creevey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said overnight temperatures would remain below freezing this week, hitting their lowest point at the weekend.

"A northerly wind will bring wintery showers and snow, particularly to Scotland and coastal areas, and by Wednesday we will really be able to feel the difference across the country."

The heaviest snowfalls are likely to be seen in north-east Scotland while Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and East Anglia could see "significant snow accumulations."

But forecasters suggested the biting conditions could abate later in the season.

Forecaster Stephen Davenport said: "My feeling is that we are looking at a colder than average first half of the winter and the second half could be less cold."

But he warned it was difficult to be certain about the precise conditions so far ahead.