After a spell of warm weather for many, cooler conditions will spread across the UK by Friday before likely becoming unsettled and much colder with the chance of wintry conditions from Sunday.
Temperatures across much of England and Wales climbed to over 20°C this week however conditions will change dramatically later this week and over the Easter weekend with colder spreading from the north.
It’s not unusual to see big swings in temperature across the UK in spring, however there will be a notable change in temperature as the warm air across the south is displaced. With a maximum of 24°C forecast on Wednesday, a drop to single figures for many by the start of next week poses a challenge for sectors such as agriculture and horticulture. This is particularly true from late Sunday and into early next week when the character of the weather is likely to change with the prospect of snow showers for many accompanied by very strong northerly winds.
Observations for the maximum temperature on Wednesday will be published on our @MetOffice Twitter account.
Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Mark Sidaway, said: “After a settled, warm spell with plenty of sunshine particularly across England and Wales our weather will take a notable change in direction later in the weekend. Very cold Arctic air will move in from the north west through Sunday, bringing snow showers and freezing overnight temperatures. The snow showers will predominantly affect the north and west of the UK. The south and east will likely remain drier but still cold with a lower chance of wintry showers.”
Phil Stocker is the chief executive of the National Sheep Association. Commenting on the dramatic change of weather type over the next few days, Mr Stocker said: “Sheep and livestock farmers, especially in the UK’s uplands, are acutely aware of the potential for a spring cold snap which can bring devastation and soul-destroying losses during lambing time. The sector has endured several cold weather events during recent springs and these have wrought considerable hardship to both stock and hill farmers. However, being aware of the approaching change in weather type will allow farmers to buffer the impacts by taking action to avoid the worst losses.”
With settled conditions at the start of the Easter weekend, gardeners may be eager to get to work in the garden, however with the chance of frosts widely across the UK people should take care with what is planted out.
Guy Barter is the chief horticulturalist at the Royal Horticultural Society. He said: “Overnight frosts in April are dreaded by gardeners. Magnolia and camellia flowers are ruined, fruit blossom and young fruitlets including pears and apples are spoiled and the tender tips of potatoes will be burnt off if they appear above ground. Gardener’s hearts are in their mouths through April as they anxiously scan the weather forecasts for frost warnings ready to rush out and cover vulnerable plants to ward off damage.”
While there is good confidence in the cold spell, there is still some detail to resolve mainly concerning any snowfall. However, with an Arctic influence the lowest temperatures will be felt in the north with the greatest chance of snow most likely over higher ground in the north and west of the UK.
Keep up to date with the latest forecast and check the detail for Easter for your area by using our forecast pages and following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.