Bank holiday ‘close to coldest on record’ with snow and frost predicted

Keep your winter coat handy, and definitely don’t bank on barbecue weather this weekend.

The early May bank holiday is set to be one of the coldest on record, with widespread frost and even snow on the higher ground.

Last year, it was the hottest on record but this time around things are very different.

The mercury is expected to drop to as low as minus 5C in some parts.

The lowest temperature ever recorded on the early May bank holiday was minus 6.4C in Grantown-on-Spey in Scotland in 1981.

Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said: ‘I don’t think we’ll get lower than that, but I wouldn’t completely rule it out, so we’ll keep an eye on that one.’

In 2018, the mercury hit 28.7C in Northolt, west London, making it the hottest early May bank holiday Monday and weekend since records began.

Mr Keates said a small amount of snow is expected, adding: ‘In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably nothing to get too excited about in terms of the amounts.

‘But nonetheless, it’s the first week of May, and in contrast to the recent pretty warm weather we’ve had, particularly over Easter, it will be a bit of a shock to the system.’

Mr Keates said snow is expected mainly in the mountains of Scotland and maybe higher ground in northern England.

‘Widespread disruptive snow is not really expected, but there could be some ice around as well overnight, particularly where we’ve seen showers.

‘It will feel a bit like winter to be honest, for some of us, over the next couple of days,’ he said.

‘It probably won’t be the best beach weather.’