What happened to Spring? SNOW chaos sweeps the north after -5C freeze overnight while south faces rain… but sunny weekend with highs pushing 70F lies ahead

  • The conditions come as voters up and down the country head to the polls in local and mayoral elections today
  • A blizzard caused traffic woes on the A9 north of the border as others woke up to heavy dustings of snow
  • Warmer weather is expected by Sunday, but more rainfall expected across the country in the days before that 

Voters heading to the polls this morning are having to brace snow in some parts of the north, after a -5C freeze overnight.

People in areas of Yorkshire including Huddersfield, Halifax and Hebden Bridge, as well as Scottish towns like Inverness, are waking up to a changed landscape, as they prepare to cast their ballot.

A blizzard caused traffic woes on the A9 north of the border as others took to social media, incredulous at the sight of snow in May. 

In the south, meanwhile, rain showers are expected to fall throughout the day, and for most of the rest of the week, with as much as 5-10mm falling in just an hour in the worst-affected spots.

However, a sunny weekend is on the horizon, with highs potentially pushing 70F by the end of the week – a welcome change for many following the recent dreary weather.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: ‘Sunday should be drier for most, with some showers in places, but in the south-east of England, temperatures could climb into the low twenties by the afternoon.

‘People should make the most of any dry or sunny spots, as it is unlikely to last and the rest of May will be unsettled and changeable for everyone.’

Traffic stuck in the snow on the A9 at Daviot near Inverness this morning following a huge downpour overnight in Scotland

Cars were covered in snow in many areas of Scotland this morning as the recent adverse weather continues to hit Britain

Ducks walk past a polling station surrounded by a dusting of snow ahead of today’s local elections in Blair Atholl, Scotland

Many homeowners took to social media this morning, incredulous at the sight of snow in May, such as above in Yorkshire

One local in Huddersfield was surprised to wake up and find a dusting of snow on their car at this time of the year

The Met Office has put this down to an area of low pressure and a jet stream above the UK, causing unsettled, wetter and cooler conditions.

The prospect of better weather comes after lockdown-weary Britons this week demanded to be let back inside pubs immediately following the recent washout.

Hundreds of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants decided to close early on Bank Holiday Monday, as wet and windy weather put a dampener on the three-day weekend.  

Pub-goers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all been given the green light to return to pub gardens after lockdown measures were eased in each of the four UK nations.

But with more dready conditions forecast for the coming days, al fresco drinkers and pub landlords are calling on Boris Johnson to get indoor hospitality open again in England ahead of May 17 – the Government’s current date for fully reopening pubs, bars and restaurants.

Many took to Twitter to let out their frustration after the bank holiday washout, with one saying: ‘What a complete flop of a bank holiday weekend!

‘Saturday’s meal out and drinks cancelled. Yesterday’s drinks out cancelled. Today’s lunch out cancelled.  Let us inside the pubs.’ 

Before the weather improves on Sunday, however, Mr Burkill warned of heavy downpours lashing the nation, particularly on Saturday.

He added that ‘a significant amount of hail’ could potentially disrupt roads and public transport over the coming days.

Thee A9 at Daviot, near Inverness, was heavily affected by the downpour, with traffic moving slowly through icy conditions

A voter enters a polling station in Blair Atholl, Scotland, against a backdrop of snowy conditions during today’s local elections

Areas of Yorkshire including Halifax, pictured above, woke up to snow following freezing temperatures overnight

This week, political party leaders have braved the wet weather in a last push for votes ahead of today’s local elections.  

Conditions were damp in Birmingham as Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer visited the city to campaign alongside West Midlands metro mayor candidate Liam Byrne and Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner. 

This morning, Boris Johnson and fiancee Carrie Symonds voted early in London amid signs he is on court to take a wrecking ball to the Red Wall again. 

The Tories have been boosted by the latest poll showing they have a huge 10-percentage point lead – driven by the success of the vaccine rollout.

Keir Starmer is braced for a disastrous ‘hat-trick’ of defeats in the Hartlepool by-election, as well as the two key mayoral races in the West Midlands and Tees Valley.

Allies believe a hard-Left challenge is inevitable if the results in his first major electoral test are as bad as feared – but they are also confident he can survive.

Votes will be cast in every part of Great Britain, with the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, London Assembly, and Hartlepool by-election up for grabs.

More than 5,000 council seats in England will also be contested, along with 13 mayoralties and 39 police and crime commissioner positions.

YouGov’s final poll before the big day found the Tories were on 43 per cent nationally, ahead of Labour on 33 per cent.

The research, conducted over the past two days, found 40 per cent had a favourable view of Mr Johnson, compared to just 31 per cent for Sir Keir Starmer.

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