Spring? The temperature dropped to -8C last night
The British weather is well-known for being a fickle beast, giving with one hand and taking with the other – especially in the transitional seasons of spring and autumn.
Just a fortnight ago, high pressure sat over the UK, bathing most of us in sunshine and warmth that wouldn’t look out of place in early summer.
Temperatures in the low 20s were fairly widespread, with central London reaching 25C – some 10 degrees above normal for the time of year.
However, recently, low pressure has been on the scene, shoving the warmth and sunshine out of the way and replacing it with winter’s (hopefully) last breath.
Near record-breaking cold in Northern Ireland
Last night, Katesbridge, County Down recorded a temperature of -8C, which is pretty impressive for this time of year.
In fact, it is just 0.5C short of the lowest temperature on record for Northern Ireland in April, which is -8.5C, set at Killylane, County Antrim on 10 April 1998.
The rest of the UK was cold and frosty as well, with temperatures widely falling below freezing – even in towns and cities.
Whilst frost and even snow isn’t too unusual in April, it can be more noticeable following a decent warm spell, as we’ve had recently.
Why so cold?
Well, to answer that question, you need to look at where the air over us has come from, as this gives an indication of its characteristics.
The air over us at the moment originated from the Arctic and arrived over the weekend behind a cold front, doing what it says on the tin – making it colder.
Not only has the cold air brought frosty nights, but it has also given snow showers to the northern half of the UK, mainly over hills and mountains.
The picture below, sent to me on Sunday on Twitter, shows the scene in the Hebrides, with a blanket of snow covering the ground.
— Eilidh Mackay (@onthecliffedge) April 26, 2015
Will it warm up again soon?
This week looks set to be cool, breezy and showery, with low pressure over or close to the UK for much of the time.
There are hints that it’ll turn milder next weekend, although accompanied by the threat of spells of cloud and rain too.
So, for now, there are no signs of summer-like warmth returning. But hey, this is the Great British Weather after all!