PARTS of Scotland could be battered by marble-sized hailstones as thunderstorms and heavy showers sweep across the country today, weather experts have warned.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for central and southern Scotland, as thunderstorms are expected to develop in the later part of the afternoon.
Today’s tempestuous weather is a stark contrast to the high temperatures experienced by parts of Scotland yesterday, with the highest recorded as 22.5C in the village of Kinbrace, in Strathnaver, Sutherland.
Met Office forecaster Dave Clark said: “Towards the later afternoon, early evening, there are likely to be heavy thunderstorms developing and making their way down the country from south Aberdeenshire, Tayside, the Lothians, and across the Central Belt and then into the Borders.
“Indications are there will be heavy downpours, sometimes lasting for several hours, with the possibility of some marble-sized hail falling. The public should be aware that in some localities, these could be sufficiently intense and slow-moving to generate localised flooding.”
He said tomorrow would be more settled, with temperatures averaging at about 12C or 13C.
However, on Wednesday, he said there was a chance of snow falling on the hills in parts of northern Scotland, with a sharp frost on lower ground.
“But for the rest of Scotland, Wednesday should be a bright day with sunny spells.”
For the rest of the week, he said: “The general picture is for a cooling, with milder temperatures – colder than average but not hugely. There will be some light rain, but nothing too heavy and there will be sunny spells.
“On Thursday and Friday, we could see some gusty winds in the east, so it could feel quite chilly. Temperatures will be in the low double figures, but the weather will be changeable rather than unsettled.”
He added that at the moment, a weather front battle was in progress, between high pressure over the Atlantic and low pressure over Norway.
“So going into next weekend, the weather could become quite showery and blustery,” he said.
Scotland was hit by freezing temperatures in March, with parts of the country hit by heavy snow.
More than 3,000 people in Argyll and on Arran were left without power for days, after ice and snow damaged pylons, cutting large areas off from the electricity network.
The freezing temperatures made it the UK’s joint second coldest March since records began more than 100 years ago.
The mean temperature was just 2.2C (36F) – more than 3C colder than the long-term monthly average.
Last month matched the average temperature in March 1947 – only March 1962 was colder, at 1.9C (35F).
March was also much drier than usual, with 62.1mm (2.4in) of rain, 65 per cent of the historical average for the month.