WHAT­EVER HAP­PENED TO SPRING?

After April sun­shine, it’s a blan­ket of snow

Daily Mail - - News - By Eleanor Hayward

IT looks like a scene from the bleak­est of mid-win­ters.

A white blan­ket en­velops the coun­try­side while sheep shiver in the icy chill.

Who would have thought that, only days ear­lier, Bri­tain had been bask­ing in spring sun­shine?

In a text­book ex­am­ple of our no­to­ri­ously fickle weather, snow, sleet and hail brought may­hem to the North yes­ter­day morn­ing as tem­per­a­tures plunged be­low freez­ing.

Up to five inches fell in Northum­ber­land, Cum­bria and Lan­cashire, while a dust­ing on Dart­moor led to stun­ning early morn­ing views.

Not even Lon­don was spared, with hail showers around 3pm fol­low­ing mas­sive claps of thun­der and light­ning. A ‘sud­den mi­croburst’ of hail

caused a 24-car pile up on the M55 in Lan­cashire in the early hours. Po­lice de­scribed the scene as ‘car­nage’, al­though no­body was se­ri­ously in­jured.

The Met Of­fice is­sued a yel­low se­vere weather warn­ing for snow in the North, which was in place un­til 10am. Overnight tem­per­a­tures dipped be­low freez­ing then re­mained in sin­gle fig­ures for most of the day – with a max­i­mum of 6C (42F) for most of the UK.

And there will be lit­tle respite to­day, with more hill snow ex­pected in the North. Mark Wil­son of the Met Of­fice said: ‘The next cou­ple of days are go­ing to be very chilly, with overnight frost and snow in ru­ral ar­eas.

‘The snow will mainly be con­fined to hills in north­ern Eng­land and Dart­moor and Ex­moor and should ease up by Fri­day. It will be a bit milder by the week­end al­though there will be a lot of showers and spells of heavy rain, es­pe­cially in the South West. It still won’t feel warm but will be around av­er­age for the time of year and there should be some sun­shine this week­end.’

Thun­dery showers were also seen across parts of Kent, Sus­sex and Hampshire, and some ar­eas of Es­sex yes­ter­day af­ter­noon. Mean­while the Grand Na­tional at Ain­tree will get off to a soggy start with showers and a high of just 7C (44F) fore­cast to­day. How­ever it will be­come drier and brighter in time for the big race on Satur­day af­ter­noon, when last year’s Grand Na­tional win­ner Tiger Roll is the 7/2 favourite.

Is this an April fool? Snow in Kill­hope

What a blow: A com­muter gets his hanky out as hail showers fall on the cap­i­tal Poor lambs: Sheep shiver in the Dales near In­gle­ton Faster, Mum! Chil­dren en­joy a tobog­gan ride in Nent­head Driv­ing snow: A mo­torist slows to a crawl in Al­len­dale Can you dig it? An­other Al­len­dale res­i­dent gets shov­el­ling

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