Britain prepares for strong winds and thundery rain this week as temperatures drop to -4C

Following glorious Easter sunshine, Britons were let down by one of the chilliest starts to the May bank holiday on record yesterday.

But things are about to go from bad to worse – with strong winds and heavy rain set to batter the country this week.

Unsettled conditions over the weekend – which saw a spinning funnel cloud descend over Blackpool on Sunday –were capped off by temperatures as low as -2.4C (28F) in Cumbria yesterday morning, while Devon and Wales both recorded -1.7C (29F).

The record low for the early May bank holiday was set in 2012, when Kinbrace in northern Scotland saw temperatures plunge to -5.9C (21F).

A couple brave the condition to take a walk along Whitley Bay in the rain of the last day of the May Bank Holiday

A couple brave the condition to take a walk along Whitley Bay in the rain of the last day of the May Bank Holiday

A couple brave the condition to take a walk along Whitley Bay in the rain of the last day of the May Bank Holiday

Visitors to Edinburgh Castle don't let the gloomy weather get them as they pose for a photo on the wet forecourt to the historic building yesterday

Visitors to Edinburgh Castle don't let the gloomy weather get them as they pose for a photo on the wet forecourt to the historic building yesterday

Visitors to Edinburgh Castle don’t let the gloomy weather get them as they pose for a photo on the wet forecourt to the historic building yesterday

A Hastings street comes to a standstill to celebrate the oncoming summer as hundreds dress up in greenery for a parade through the town

A Hastings street comes to a standstill to celebrate the oncoming summer as hundreds dress up in greenery for a parade through the town

A Hastings street comes to a standstill to celebrate the oncoming summer as hundreds dress up in greenery for a parade through the town

May Day Bank Holiday Festival, celebrates the coming of summer with Morris dancers and the Jack in the Green procession. Jack in the Green Hastings

May Day Bank Holiday Festival, celebrates the coming of summer with Morris dancers and the Jack in the Green procession. Jack in the Green Hastings

May Day Bank Holiday Festival, celebrates the coming of summer with Morris dancers and the Jack in the Green procession. Jack in the Green Hastings

In brighter news, however, forecasters are predicting an ‘early taste of summer’ by the middle of the month.

Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said there would be ‘significant change’ from today – but not for the better.

He said: ‘A band of cloud and rain spreads in from the West and moves eastwards on Tuesday, bringing a change to more unsettled conditions from mid-week.

‘There is going to be quite a bit of rain around and it will be quite windy at times, especially in the North.

Today's lunchtime forecast

Today's lunchtime forecast

The overnight temperatures appeared to show patches of frost in certain parts of the country. Today, forecasters say the South will see highs of just 13C (55F) and the North 10C (50F)

The overnight temperatures appeared to show patches of frost in certain parts of the country. Today, forecasters say the South will see highs of just 13C (55F) and the North 10C (50F)

Shown left is the lunchtime forecast, with many areas of the UK experiencing colder-than-average temperatures. Pictured right is the forecast for last night, when some of the coldest early May Day Bank Holiday temperatures were recorded

The polar air which left the country shivering this weekend started to drift away yesterday, meaning temperatures should rise up to 17C (63F) in the South by the weekend

The polar air which left the country shivering this weekend started to drift away yesterday, meaning temperatures should rise up to 17C (63F) in the South by the weekend

The polar air which left the country shivering this weekend started to drift away yesterday, meaning temperatures should rise up to 17C (63F) in the South by the weekend

A frontal system will bring showers to much of the northern England and Scotland today (shown: tourists at Edinburgh Castle), with a widespread chill and even some hill snow in parts of the Highlands

A frontal system will bring showers to much of the northern England and Scotland today (shown: tourists at Edinburgh Castle), with a widespread chill and even some hill snow in parts of the Highlands

A frontal system will bring showers to much of the northern England and Scotland today (shown: tourists at Edinburgh Castle), with a widespread chill and even some hill snow in parts of the Highlands

Tourists on Edinburgh's Royal Mile brave the cold and the rain on the May Bank Holiday, with much of northern Britain hit by showers today

Tourists on Edinburgh's Royal Mile brave the cold and the rain on the May Bank Holiday, with much of northern Britain hit by showers today

Tourists on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile brave the cold and the rain on the May Bank Holiday, with much of northern Britain hit by showers today

‘Elsewhere we are looking at heavy thundery showers across much of England and Wales and it will be very windy at times, particularly along coastal regions. This will need to be watched in terms of issuing any warnings.’

He added: ‘A complicated area of low pressure comes in from the West around mid-week, bringing much of the unsettled weather before another low skirts the UK towards the end of the week.’

The polar air which left the country shivering this weekend started to drift away yesterday, meaning temperatures should rise up to 17C (63F) in the South by the weekend.

A funnel cloud is a rotating column of wind that extends from the base of a cloud without reaching the ground – at which point it would be classed as a tornado. The clouds form due to unstable conditions in the atmosphere.

Link hienalouca.com

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