Leeds weather: Nowhere will escape snow warns Met Office as Arctic plunge set to replace Leeds sunshine
Heavy snow warnings have been issued for parts of northern Scotland as the UK braces itself for a chilly Easter weekend.
The Met Office said that no part of the country would be “immune” from snowfall on Easter Monday as the temperatures continue to drop.
Though forecasts from the Met Office largely point to cold but clear conditions with some rainfall, rival forecasters at The Weather Channel do report the possibility of snow on Monday afternoon.
The colder weather coincides with the easing of coronavirus restrictions across the country and police have urged people to continue to respect the rules.
Parts of Scotland including Fife, Strathclyde and Highlands are due to see gale-force winds and snow showers that could cause travel disruption.
There could be as much as 15cm of snow in higher areas and temperatures may drop as low as minus 5C (23F) on Easter Monday morning.
The Met Office’s yellow warnings are in place from 6pm on Sunday until midnight on Monday.
It comes as the stay-at-home order was lifted across Scotland on Friday, allowing people to travel locally for non-essential purposes.
Temperatures in Leeds are expected to fall as low as 5C on Monday.
Craig Snell, forecaster for the Met Office, said: “After a taste of summer for a lot of the UK we will see things turn much colder as we go through the second half of the Easter weekend.
“A lot of the UK will be prone to seeing some wintry showers as we go through the course of Monday but northern Scotland is where we’ll see the heaviest and most frequent snow.
“That’s where there’s most concern that we might see some disruption.”
Mr Snell said although it was not unusual to see snow at this time of year, it would be a “shock to the system” for many, following the almost record-breaking March temperatures felt earlier in the week.
Parts of the UK saw temperatures reach nearly 24C (75.2F) on Wednesday, with Weybourne, north Norfolk, leading the way at a peak of 23.9C (75F) – short of the nation’s hottest-ever March temperature of 25.6C (78F), which was recorded in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.
The Met Office said temperatures would decline steadily across the UK and by Monday most parts would struggle to reach double digits due to the country entering an “Arctic trough”.
On Saturday, temperatures in the South East and London are expected to be about 12C (53.6F) and, further north, Manchester and Leeds could see highs of 13C (55.4F) and 10C (50F) respectively.
By Monday, London may drop to 8C (46.4F), Manchester 7C (44.6F) and Leeds a chilly 5C (41F).
“Nowhere is going to be immune from potentially seeing some snow showers on Monday, even down towards the south west of England,” said Mr Snell.
“But as it comes further south, it will fall from the sky but it probably won’t settle because the ground will be warm enough that as soon as it lands it will just melt.
“But anyone in the UK may see some flakes falling if they’re looking out of the window.”
It comes as the Metropolitan Police warned people in London not to gather in large groups over the Easter weekend following an easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said: “We cannot allow the selfish actions of a small minority of people to jeopardise the efforts of this city.
“We will continue to shut down house parties or dangerous raves quickly, taking enforcement action by handing out fines.
“We make no apology for our tough stance on shutting down those large gatherings which pose a serious risk to public health.”
The Met is expecting more protests in the capital over the weekend, which are now lawful providing organisers submit a risk assessment and take steps to ensure the gathering is safe.
The force said: “Enforcement action will be taken, if needed, in the interests of public health.”
Among the planned demonstrations is a Kill the Bill rally against the Government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill due to take place in Finsbury Park on Friday afternoon, with similar events planned elsewhere.