Snow blows in to end record temperatures

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THE unseasonal heatwave felt like a distant memory yesterday as snow fell on the Cairngorms – less than a week after the area registered its highest ever March temperature.

A light blanket of snow settled on ground above 900m, with a midday temperature of -3.2C at Cairn Gorm summit. Last week, Aboyne in Aberdeenshire was a balmy 23.6C.

The Met Office said the downturn was here to stay, with the country expected to return to more normal weather for the time of year. Scotland’s general outlook for tomorrow is cloudy with rain and hill snow developing.

Snow may also fall more heavily later in the day, and Tuesday is expected to be colder with frosts setting in under some sunshine.

Despite the sudden drop in temperature, Cairn Gorm Mountain ski centre has switched to “summer mode” a month earlier than planned. A scarcity of snow meant a poor ski season for all of Scotland’s winter sports centres.

Next Easter weekend will see more rain, and temperatures will “remain on the cool side”, said Julian Mayes, a forecaster with MeteoGroup.