Last week we enjoyed a taste of spring with winds from North Africa lifting the temperature at Trawsgoed in Ceredigion to 17.5 Celsius making it the warmest place in Britain last Tuesday.

But it’s all change this week. Winter has returned with north-easterly winds from Russia bringing a big drop in temperature.

It is unusually cold for March today with temperatures rising no higher than 1 or 2 Celsius, and on high ground staying below freezing all day.

Add on the wind and it feels bitterly cold, more like -5 to -10 Celsius. In fact, it’s probably the coldest its felt all winter because of the strength of the wind.

The air is unstable enough to produce a few snow showers today giving a dusting or light cover of snow in places with drifting on high ground.

Picture by Terry Wyn Jones on the Black Mountains

Most of the snow will fall in southeast England and the south coast. The Channel Islands and northern France will be worst hit by heavy snow and blizzards – in Normandy around 50cm, 20 inches of snow is expected with severe disruption.

While in Jersey, snow will be accompanied by gales and wind gusts of 65mph.

Tonight there will be a widespread frost and a risk of icy patches with temperatures dropping between -2 and -7 Celsius.

That means a penetrating frost but because of the wind and given the air is very dry a white hoar frost is unlikely so you shouldn’t have to scrape your car windscreen in the morning.

Tomorrow will be a quieter day with just the odd light snow flurry, most likely in the east.

Otherwise it will be fine and bright with sunny spells. Still cold but with the wind will be lighter it won’t feel quite as bitter as today.

Wednesday and Thursday will be slightly less cold with a few showers and overnight frost.

While on Friday low pressure and south-westerly winds will bring some rain with temperatures rising as high as 8 Celsius.

You may remember that March 2012 was one of the warmest on record in Wales but I think it’s going to be a different story this year with temperatures expected to remain below average well into the outlook period.

So I am afraid spring is very much on hold at the moment!

Derek

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