UK cold weather forecast: Mercury to plunge 11C in 24-hours as Arctic freeze hits Britain

BBC Weather: Arctic air to interrupt heatwave ahead of Easter

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Glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures have been felt across the country today as lockdown-weary Britons enjoy a much-needed upturn in the weather. The Met Office has confirmed temperatures reached 24.2C this afternoon in St James’ Park, London.  The provisional recording is the hottest day in March for 53 years, since 25.6C was measured in 1968 in Cambridgeshire.

The area of high pressure is set to continue over the UK on Wednesday with highs of 24C again forecast in the South East and the low 20Cs elsewhere, according to the Met Office.

However, the balmy conditions are set to be replaced by a deep-freeze tomorrow evening and into Thursday.

In the space of just 24 hours, temperatures are poised to plummet from highs of 24C in London and the South East on Wednesday afternoon to just 8C on Thursday lunchtime, before reaching a high of 13C, according to the latest weather maps.

Netweather charts also show temperatures will struggle to stay in double figures by midday on Thursday.

It will be much colder elsewhere, with lunchtime highs of 8C in the Midlands, 7C in the North and 6C in Scotland.

Temperatures are then expected to fall away further overnight, with lows of 0C expected in parts of the north and Scotland during the early hours of Friday morning.

Heat maps show a cold-blast descending over the UK from around 9pm on Wednesday night.

Weather models also show a huge ice-blue shaded area of freezing air descending over northern parts of the UK.

Northern and western parts of the UK are set to be the worst affected by the cold conditions and there could also be dusting of snow across the far north of Scotland.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Steve Ramsdale, said: “The UK will see a few days of notably warm weather to end March, with a maximum of 24C on Wednesday in the south and east of England.

“There will also be plenty of sunshine across England and Wales however parts of Scotland will see some persistent rain over the next couple of days.

“Conditions will start to change through the day on Thursday as cooler air moves in from the northeast.”

Temperatures are set to remain cold into the four-day Easter weekend, with unsettled conditions and the risk of rain across northern and eastern areas.

Mr Ramsdale said: “Through Sunday an even colder pool of air will start to push in across the UK from the northwest, bringing a notable change to temperatures compared to the start of the week.

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“This also brings a move towards more unsettled conditions with stronger winds and the chance of some wintry showers.”

BBC Weather’s outlook added: “Heading into the Easter holiday weekend, the weather will likely be a few degrees colder than normal but largely dry with patchy cloud.

“There is a chance of some scattered showers for northern and eastern areas, and these could bring some lowland snow if they develop.”

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