Snow, gales and chilly temperatures forecast as Arctic blast hits North East

Picture by PA.
Picture by PA.
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We're facing chilly temperatures and snow this week, thanks to a blast of Arctic air.

Despite the approach of May, forecasters say that summer will feel a long way off.

Temperatures will struggle into double figures in the south of the country, but the North East many areas will see highs of just 8 degrees Celsius (47F) - with the national average about 4 degrees Celsius below the average for this time of year.

Global temperature records were broken in January, February and March, Nasa announced last week, but the UK is unlikely to feel the benefit of this trend this week.

North East England and Scotland will also see gale force winds in exposed areas.

The Met Office predicts frequent showers which will mainly fall as rain but Scotland and parts of northern England - especially on high ground - may see snow.

Overnight it will be cold enough for a frost.

Met Office forecaster Emma Boorman said: "It's going to be cold this week, particularly at the start of the week.

"Winds are coming from the north. The originated in the Arctic and that's why it is colder than we normally expect it to be at this time of year.

"In the South it will be mixture of sunshine and showers but further north these showers will turn increasingly wintry - that's a mixture of rain, some sleet and some snow.

"The winds will be strengthening through Monday and so this afternoon they could reach gale force in Scotland and then early evening in the north of England as well.

"Later on, eastern swathes of the country could see some winds reaching gale force."

North East forecast for the week

Today:

Sunny intervals and scattered showers, with the showers turning increasingly heavy and wintry. Sleet or snow is likely even at low levels, but will not produce significant accumulations. Becoming windy along the coast. Feeling cold. Maximum Temperature8 °C.

Tonight:

Wintry showers will continue, heavy at times with hail, sleet or snow falling at even low levels. Slight accumulations of snow are possible, mainly over high ground. Coastal gales developing. Minimum Temperature-1 °C.

Tuesday:

Windy with coastal gales, perhaps locally severe, and feeling cold. Showers will continue, sometimes heavy, with sleet or snow to low levels initially then increasingly becoming confined to higher ground. Maximum Temperature 7 °C.

Outlook for Wednesday to Friday:

Wednesday showers, wintry across high ground and initially to lower levels, while the wind eases. Then remaining cold, with showers or longer spells of rain, perhaps wintry over high ground.