WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SPRING?
After April sunshine, it’s a blanket of snow
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