BRITAIN is bracing for the coldest ever start to the early May bank holiday as chilly weather sweeps through the country.
Temperatures could plummet as low as -3C or -4C in Northern Ireland, Wales, south-west England and parts of Scotland, bringing widespread frost, the Met Office said.
Showers and snow could hit northern Scotland moving into this morning.
Lighter winds and isolated showers are predicted for much of the UK today, leaving a generally dry, chilly and sunny day.
Temperatures in the South will reach 13C or 14C, but will only hit 8C or 9C in the North, with some flurries of snow in Scotland.
Freezing temperatures will again bring widespread frost as bank holiday Monday arrives.
Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said there was a chance overnight temperatures could be the lowest ever for the early May bank holiday Monday.
The lowest recorded temperatures for the Monday are minus 3.5C in Wales, minus 4.3C in Northern Ireland and minus 5.9C in the rest of the UK.
“Overnight we could see, particularly in Northern Ireland and Wales, record lows going into this bank holiday,” he said.
“They might overtake the coldest ever start to a May Day bank holiday.”
Forecasters predict Monday will be cloudy as a weak front carrying a band of showers makes its way south.
But there will also be dry weather and plenty of sunny spells.
The current chill is being caused by freezing winds blowing down from the Arctic Circle.
Simon added: “We’ve got high pressure to the west, low pressure to the east, which has left us with straight northerly air coming straight down from the Arctic.
“And it’s not just affecting us – it’s pushing south across Europe as well, which is apparently worrying the fruit and grape growers across France and Italy in particular because it could cause a problem for the wine crop.”
Bank holiday weekend travellers are facing disruption due to planned engineering work shutting down parts of the railway.
No trains will run to or from London Euston between Saturday and Monday due to work in preparation for HS2.
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And there will be no trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport and between Shenfield and Southend Victoria.
Virgin Trains, which operates services on the west coast mainline, was urging passengers to “avoid travelling on these dates unless you absolutely have to”.
More road traffic is expected with 13 million leisure trips to be taken by car between Friday and Sunday, according to RAC research, making it the busiest early May bank holiday on the roads since 2016.
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