Thursday, May 3rd 2012, 8:30 AM EDT
WINTER will return this weekend as an Arctic blast threatens to send temperatures plunging to -9C.
Bitter northerly winds will bring harsh frosts and “significant” snowfall to blight the May Day Bank Holiday.
After the coldest April in 23 years, forecasters warned last night that next week’s temperatures could be the lowest ever recorded in May.
The mercury will plunge in parts of the North from tomorrow with lows of -7C (19F) forecast for Cumbria.
The cold snap follows a week of torrential downpours and flooding with warnings of more heavy rain on the way today.
Parts of Wales are braced for a deluge which could see up to two inches of rain, half a month’s worth, fall throughout the day. The rest of the south of Britain is on alert for heavy showers with further flood warnings in place.
The Express which reported the cold snap on its front page on April 19
Although the whole country is in for a soaking today and tomorrow, the South is once again likely to be worst hit before the new big freeze begins. The weathermen say things will turn wintry from Saturday as temperatures plummet across the country. James Madden, of Exacta Weather, warned of widespread frost, bitter winds and snow. “The picture is set to turn increasingly cold and wintry as we progress throughout this weekend and into next week,” he said.
“Temperatures will fall to well below average for the time of year, resulting in extensive frosts and wintry showers in places.
“Some of these showers will also fall as sleet and snow and become quite persistent and heavy in certain parts of Scotland, northern and eastern England.
Some significant snowfall is likely for the time of the year, especially across higher ground.”
Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said the next few days could see some of the coldest May temperatures for years. “It is turning much colder everywhere this weekend with another unusually cold outflow from the Arctic.
“From Friday temperatures will fall dramatically and many parts of Scotland will be more than 10C lower than the those we are experiencing currently.
“We could see some of the lowest May temperatures for many years this weekend with a widespread frost in rural areas across northern England and Scotland by Saturday morning.”
Met Office forecaster Dan Williams said temperatures over the next few days, including the Bank Holiday, would be well below average. “After heavy rain on Thursday it will get drier by Friday but then we will see figures drop by the weekend,” he said.
“There will be some very low maximum temperatures, well below the average for the time of year, which with the wind will make it feel very cold. We also expect some wintry showers and sleet across high ground.”
The lowest May temperatures on record are -8.9C in Braemar, Scotland, in 1927 and -9.4C in Lynford, Norfolk, in 1941.
Warm Atlantic air, which usually floods into the UK in May, is being forced out by a wave of freezing air from the Arctic and Scandinavia.
Bitter winds in the North will make it feel like -9C by Saturday, according to independent forecasters Netweather. The chilly forecast comes just two weeks after the Daily Express reported that experts were warning Britain faced the coldest May for 100 years.
Met Office figures show April was the wettest on record with almost five inches of rain filling reservoirs which were virtually empty because of the drought.
It was also one of the coldest on record. A spokesman said: “Average temperatures for April were lower than those for March for most of the UK. This April was in fact the coldest since 1989.
Source Link: express.co.uk