Scotland's weather: “Shock” cold snap on the way

The gritters could be out in force as a shock cold snap is on the way
The gritters could be out in force as a shock cold snap is on the way
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Threatened severe gales followed by an arctic blast "will come as quite a shock", the Met Office warned today.

The agency said weather warnings could follow as colder weather sweeps the UK.

Frost and cold weather could be on the way. Picture Ian Rutherford

Frost and cold weather could be on the way. Picture Ian Rutherford

That will be in sharp contrast to April's temperatures so far, which have been 1.1C above average.

Wintry showers are forecast for many areas.

A Met Office spokesman said: "An arctic maritime air mass will spread southwards across the whole country early next week which will come as quite a shock.

"The weekend will bring a lot of settled and dry weather, with daytime maximum temperatures generally above the UK April average.

"Temperatures in the north will reach around 10-12C, while in the south they are likely to reach 15-17C.

"However, the nights will be chilly, especially across the north, with a risk of frost which could catch out some farmers and gardeners.

"Later in the weekend, a developing area of low pressure will approach northern Scotland, bringing a spell of wet and windy weather here with a risk of severe gales over coasts and hills on Sunday night and into Monday.

"As this area of low pressure pulls away into the North Sea, a push of cold arctic air will follow leading to a marked change of weather for all parts, with frosts becoming much more widespread overnight.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: "As well as a noticeable change in temperatures on Monday, the cold air will also bring wintry showers to many parts as it filters southwards across the UK.

"In the north, showers will bring a mix sleet, snow and hail, which could be seen at low levels and lead to some temporary accumulations overnight as temperatures drop.

"Between the showers there will be spells of sunshine, so during the day any sleet or snow is unlikely to settle for long before it melts.

"The cold feel will be accentuated by the wind.

"Although late in the season, the cold weather could still have some impacts, so our forecasters will be keeping an eye on the situation and issue any severe weather warnings as necessary."

However, the Met Office said it was not unusual to see frost and wintry showers in mid-April as spring is often a season of contrasts.