Arctic blast to hit Scotland during first bank holiday in May

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It will be ices all round this Bank Holiday Weekend – but not the tasty kind that went down a treat at Easter.

Just two weeks after record-breaking temperatures led to packed beaches, an Arctic blast is set to freeze anyone out an about on the first holiday in May.

It could snow across parts of Scotland. Picture: Jonathan Bird/Network Rail/PA Wire

It could snow across parts of Scotland. Picture: Jonathan Bird/Network Rail/PA Wire

Grahame Madge of the Met Office said the mercury could drop as low as Minus 4C or even Minus 5C (23-24F) and snow can be expected in the north and far south of Scotland.

He said:”It will feel very cold at the weekend, especially after the great weather we enjoyed at Easter.

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“What we are expecting is a weather ‘battleground’ as we are seeing influences presenting themselves from all parts of the compass.

“Higher parts of the country, including the highlands, will see some snow over the weekend, as will the southern uplands.

“It will be a cold and frosty start to Saturday but the day is expected to produce plenty of sunshine as well.

“That will help keep up day time temperatures, even though it is a cold air mass moving down from an Arctic direction.

“It will feel chilly but it shouldn’t stop you getting out and about this bank holiday – even if you might need a few extra layers.”

The RAC calculate drivers will take to their cars for 13 million leisure trips this weekend, the busiest for three years.

Spokesman Rob Dennis said:”Despite it looking like the weather will take an unusually-cold turn for the start of May – certainly after the recent Easter heatwave – our figures suggest drivers are still keen to make the most of the long weekend.

“Significantly more (people) saying they are planning a leisure trip by car this year than in recent years.”

Roadworks will result in the overnight closure of four sections of the A87 in the highlands at Invergarry from tonight (Friday).

Conditions are not much better on the railways. Virgin Trains say they strongly recommend against travel to London this weekend, when Euston Station will be closed until Tuesday morning.

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Limited replacement services will be provided from Glasgow and Edinburgh but Virgin said:”We highly recommend that you avoid travelling on these dates unless you absolutely have to.”

Day-trippers on the Clyde Coast face delays due to ship refit work and improvements to Rothesay Quay on Bute.

Cal Mac say only one ferry will run services on Monday on the Gourock to Dunoon route and an amended timetable will operate on the popular Wemyss Bay to Rothesay crossing.

In addition, tidal conditions will affect services between Claonaig and Lochranza from now until Sunday.

Edinburgh Airport say they expect over 180,000 passengers through the terminal this weekend, while Glasgow expect 100,000 going on sunshine breaks to Malaga, Alicante and Dubai.

Police in Aberdeen said they would have extra officers on duty this weekend to maintain order at some high-profile sporting events, including Aberdeen V Celtic on Saturday.

The Parkhead club could clinch the league title with a victory in the lunch time kick-off.

Chief Inspector Rob Sturton, who has responsibility for the Divisional Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit said: “If you are heading out to enjoy yourself this weekend remember there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent you either becoming involved in criminality or becoming a victim.

“We want people to have fun and spend time with their friends and family and enjoy what our communities have to offer but know your limits, stick to them and ensure you have planned ahead so you know you will get home safely.

“There are some fantastic events on this weekend including football at Pittodrie on Saturday and the Aberdeen BHGE 10k Running Festival on Sunday for which there are a number of road closures in place.”

Four-day forecast:

Today: Feeling colder. Chance of wintry showers, spreading south. Max 12C (54F) Min Minus 1C (30F)

Saturday: Showers during the day, wintry over the hills. Feeling cold with overnight frost. Max 12C (54F) Min 0C (32F)

Sunday: Largely dry, with sunny spells. Cold in a strong breeze. Max 12C (54F) Min 1C (33F)

Monday: Risk of heavy showers, including hail and thunder. Bright spells. Max 13C (55F) Min Minus 2C (28F).