Spring brought to halt by April (snow) showers

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Much of Britain awoke to a thick blanket of snow yesterday as the traditionally unpredictable April weather hit an unusual extreme.

Early morning flurries left an area stretching from northern Scotland to the south coast of England carpeted with up to 3in (7.6cm) of snow and caused delays for drivers and air travellers, including those using Heathrow's ill-fated Terminal 5 – where 126 flights were cancelled.

Meteorologists are predicting that chilly conditions will persist this week with a chance of further snowfalls in many places today. A spokesman at the Met Office said: "It was a very cold day for April, with temperatures of 3C to 6C. The average for this time of year is generally 10C or 11C."