Coldest March for 51 years... but the wintry weather isn't over yet

Cold snap likely to last until mid-April

The unseasonable cold weather shows no signs of letting up following the coldest March in more than 50 years.

The severe conditions have caused disruption to millions with many wondering whether spring will ever arrive.

But although no significant snowfall is forecast at the moment, temperatures are expected to remain low for the time of the year with no warmer weather in sight.

And forecasters predict the cold snap, which has caused chaos for farmers, the transport network and homeowners, could last until mid-April.

Andy Radcliffe, forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said temperatures would reach a maximum of 7C (44.6F) today but in places such as North Wales and Cumbria it would be minus 4C (24.8F).

Even London was expected to be about minus 2C (28.4F).

He added: "Throughout this week it's going to remain cold, but not quite as cold as we've recently seen.

"Tomorrow it could get up to widely around 7 to 8C and it will be similar on Wednesday.

"There might be some light flurries of snow but it won't be anything significant.

"There is no clear sign of warmer weather at the moment. Next weekend could be milder but there is a lot of uncertainty around it."

Average temperatures between March 1 and 26 were just 2.5C (36.5F), three degrees below the long-term average, according to the Met Office.

This would make it the coldest March since 1962 and also the fourth coldest in the UK since records began in 1910.

Looking at individual countries, it said March would be the fourth coldest on record for England, joint third coldest for Wales, joint eighth coldest for Scotland and sixth coldest for Northern Ireland.

Yesterday was also reported to be the coldest Easter day on record, with the mercury falling to minus 12.5C (9.5F) in Braemar in the Scottish Highlands.

Temperatures have varied wildly - on March 11 it plummeted to minus 12.9C (8.8F) at Kinbrace in the Highlands and Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, while on March 5 thermometers reached 17.5C (63.5F) at Trawsgoed in Ceredigion, west Wales.

Average maximum temperatures for the month ranged from 8.3C (46.9F) in the Isles of Scilly to 2.7C (36.9F) in North and West Yorkshire, while minimum temperatures ranged from 5.4C (41.7F) at the Isles of Scilly to minus 3.4C (25.9F) at Braemar.

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