UK faces coldest start on record for early May bank holiday

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(Mike Egerton/PA)

Parts of the UK could have the coldest ever start to the early May bank holiday as chilly weather hits the country.

Hail and rain showers struck central London and the east coast on Saturday, two weeks on from the warmest Easter on record.

The Met Office said temperatures in the west had reached 13C, while winds in eastern parts kept conditions at 7C or 8C.

Riders and spectators at the Tour de Yorkshire were warned that strong northerly winds could bring a significant wind chill along the coastal route.

Rumbles of thunder were also expected in the east, while the rest of the UK enjoyed dry, fine and sunnier weather.

Eastern showers were expected to clear overnight, except a few in parts of East Anglia, leaving clear skies over much of the country.

Temperatures could plummet as low as minus 3C or minus 4C in Northern Ireland, Wales, south-west England and parts of Scotland, bringing widespread frost, the Met Office said.

Showers and snow could hit northern Scotland moving into Sunday morning.

Lighter winds and isolated showers are predicted for much of the UK on Sunday, leaving a generally dry, chilly and sunny day.

Temperatures in the South will reach 13C or 14C, but will only hit 8C or 9C in the North, with some flurries of snow in Scotland.

Spring weather May 4th 2019
(PA)

Freezing temperatures will again bring widespread frost as bank holiday Monday arrives.

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said there was a chance overnight temperatures could be the lowest ever for the early May bank holiday Monday.

The lowest recorded temperatures for the Monday are minus 3.5C in Wales, minus 4.3C in Northern Ireland and minus 5.9C in the rest of the UK.

“Overnight we could see, particularly in Northern Ireland and Wales, record lows going into this bank holiday,” he said.

“They might overtake the coldest ever start to a May Day bank holiday.”

Forecasters predict Monday will be cloudy as a weak front carrying a band of showers makes its way south.

But there will also be dry weather and plenty of sunny spells.

Bank holiday weekend travellers are facing disruption due to planned engineering work shutting down parts of the railway.

No trains will run to or from London Euston between Saturday and Monday due to work in preparation for HS2, and there will be no trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport and between Shenfield and Southend Victoria.

Virgin Trains, which operates services on the west coast mainline, was urging passengers to “avoid travelling on these dates unless you absolutely have to”.

More road traffic is expected with 13 million leisure trips to be taken by car between Friday and Sunday, according to RAC research, making it the busiest early May bank holiday on the roads since 2016.

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