Mirror Online: LONDON, England – The mercury is expected to drop to -7C in parts of Scotland overnight following highs of 17C in southern England.
The freezing weather front well and truly signals an end to the unseasonal late-March sunshine and warmth Brits basked in at the start of this week.
Sunbathing in the park is off the cards for Bank Holiday Monday, with snow warnings in place for northern Scotland.
As much as 15cm is forecast to fall in higher areas.
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings from 4pm on Sunday until 10am on Tuesday for Scotland, where winds of up to 70mph forecast.
Coastal areas of eastern England, parts of Wales and Northern Ireland could also see snow showers on Easter Monday.
Met Office forecaster Sarah Kent said: “We will see this plunge of much colder conditions coming in.
“It’s Arctic maritime air, which does mean it’s coming from the Arctic.
“So it’s going to be cold for everybody, but also windy too.
“The wind chill is going to be significant.”
Matthew Box, a Met Office forecaster, described the weather front as an “Artic blast”.
“It will be quite severe frosts across the northern part of the UK,” he said.
“They will affect mainly Scotland, but snow showers will affect parts of northern Ireland, north Wales, Norfolk and East Anglia as well.”
Southern England can expect to see some sunshine and highs of 7C later on Monday, but gusts of up to 30mph will make the temperature “feel like” -1C, Ms Kent said.
All of the UK but a slim stretch of England along the south coast will be enduring temperatures that feel like they’re below zero tomorrow morning and early afternoon.
England and Wales will warm up a little as the day goes on, but only to highs of 7C come the evening.
Parts of the UK saw the mercury reach nearly 24C on Wednesday, a balmy high that puts today and tomorrow’s weather in harsh contrast.
Meteorologist Ms Kent said: “Today is a lovely day for an Easter egg hunt in the back garden, whereas tomorrow if you were doing one you’d probably want to wear three jumpers.”
Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Mark Sidaway, said: “After a settled, warm spell with plenty of sunshine particularly across England and Wales our weather will take a notable change in direction later in the weekend.
“Very cold Arctic air will move in from the north west through Sunday, bringing snow showers and freezing overnight temperatures.
“The snow showers will predominantly affect the north and west of the UK. The south and east will likely remain drier but still cold with a lower chance of wintry showers.”
As well as scuppering plans to get out and about in slightly lighter clothing towards the tail-end of the long weekend, the cold weather will prove a big challenge to the agricultural sector.
Phil Stocker is the chief executive of the National Sheep Association, spoke of the dangers of a cold snap during the lambing season.
“Sheep and livestock farmers, especially in the UK’s uplands, are acutely aware of the potential for a spring cold snap which can bring devastation and soul-destroying losses during lambing time,” he said.
“The sector has endured several cold weather events during recent springs and these have wrought considerable hardship to both stock and hill farmers.
“However, being aware of the approaching change in weather type will allow farmers to buffer the impacts by taking action to avoid the worst losses.”
Gardeners who have been preparing their lots for the summer may also be frustrated by the icy temperatures.
Guy Barter, chief horticulturalist at the Royal Horticultural Society, said: “Overnight frosts in April are dreaded by gardeners. Magnolia and camellia flowers are ruined, fruit blossom and young fruitlets including pears and apples are spoiled and the tender tips of potatoes will be burnt off if they appear above ground.
“Gardener’s hearts are in their mouths through April as they anxiously scan the weather forecasts for frost warnings ready to rush out and cover vulnerable plants to ward off damage.”