Early April temperatures promised the onset of spring and while the seasonal sunshine was enough to tease wonderful arrays of wild flowers into bloom, a chilling setback in the form of a biting Arctic blast has now been predicted to hit Britain.
Carpets of bluebells lured families to Bow Wood near Matlock, Derbyshire today - with similar showings attracting visitors to Ilkley’s Middleton Woods and other Yorkshire hotspots - but forecasters have warned that a wave of wintry showers could hit just about anywhere in the country as the snow that arrived in northern Scotland earlier in the day began moving south.
The Met Office said the northern hills are most likely to see snow as the cold weather moves into England over the next 36 hours.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said the air moving over Britain from the Arctic will bring large thunder clouds which could result in hailstorms, thunder and lightning as well as the possibility of sleet and snow flurries.
He said: “There’s a possibility of wintry showers just about anywhere in the UK tomorrow but more likely is that people anywhere, really, could see hail.”
Mr Madge said: “The more at risk areas for seeing snow are obviously the northern hills and we could possibly see some settling as far south as places like the higher tops on the North York Moors.
“But, generally, what we’ll see in those very showery conditions is that when it starts to rain, it’ll drop the temperature maybe enough to trigger the development of sleet or even the odd snow shower for a time.”