Snow covers a vehicle in Aviemore, Scotland, UK, 25 April 2017 (BBC Weather)
Arctic air has enveloped the United Kingdom with heavy snow in Scotland and northern England and near freezing temperatures as far south as London.
Forecasters say snow in late April is not uncommon and actually fell over parts of the country around the same time last year.
Temperatures struggled to reach 10 C today after a hard frost early this morning.
This cold snap is a far cry from record breaking heat earlier this month when the thermometer climbed to 26 C in southern England and a mild March which was the fifth warmest ever for the U.K.
What a difference in one week in downtown Fredericton, 23 Feb 2017 (Facebook)
The weather has been relatively calm lately in New Brunswick and the Maritimes which has been a welcome relief after a string of winter storms earlier this month.
Mild air has pushed into the region which set several record highs yesterday both here and in Southern Ontario.
The Greater Moncton International Airport reached 10 C and it was the warmest temperature since 18 December – just shy of the record of 13.2 from 1981.
But some weather stations in the Moncton area climbed as high as 13 C.
New record highs for 23 February:
Kouchibouguac Nat’l Park 12.4 C
Woodstock, NB 11.9 C
Bathurst 10.5 C
Windsor, ON 19.3 C
London, ON 18.3 C
Toronto Pearson Airport 17.7 C
Waves crash the seawall at Dawlish in Devon, England, 28 October 2013 (Reuters)
Hurricane strength winds battered Britain, northern France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia on Monday, cutting power and hampering air and rail travel.
Gusts of up to 160 km/h lashed southern England and Wales – the worst in a decade according to forecasters.
Thousands of London commuters were stuck at home after train and Tube lines were forced shut by toppled trees and power failures.
Reports say more than a dozen people have been killed so far in the powerful autumn storm.
The coldest temperature ever recorded for 31 March was set in Braemar, Scotland with a low today of -12.5°C.
It was also chilly in London this morning with a low of -2.8°C, several degrees below normal.
The UK Met Office reports that the average monthly temperature across the entire United Kingdom was 2.5-3.0°C below normal – the coldest March since 1962.
Meanwhile in Greater Moncton, it was a pleasant Easter day with sunshine and a high of 10.0°C – the warmest daytime high of the month.
Snowy in Cargan, Northern Ireland, UK, 25 March 2013 (Reuters)
Heavy snow – as much as 30 cm or more – has blanketed parts of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and northern England paralyzing travel.
A military helicopter was brought in to aid farms and families who were stranded in the unusual spring snowfall.
Many homes are still without power for a fifth straight day.
London has so far escaped the heavy snow but temperatures remain below freezing.
Snow being shoveled in Brighton, England, UK, 12 March 2013 (Reuters)
Snow and freezing conditions disrupted various forms of travel across Western Europe today.
Eurostar train service between London and Paris was halted and plows couldn’t keep up with the snow at Frankfurt Airport where hundreds of flights were cancelled.
Forecasters say the snow was the result of cold air from Russia colliding with a low pressure system over northern France.
Motorists were also stuck in their cars in southern England where as much as 15 cm of snow fell.
Snow in central London, 18 Jan 2013 (BBC)
Snow fell in southern England and Wales yesterday cancelling flights out of Heathrow and Gatwick airports, disrupting trains and causing delays for motorists.
According to the UK Met Office, temperatures are expected to be near or just below freezing throughout the weekend which means the snow will likely stick around for a while.
Higher elevations could see as much as 30 cm of snow while London was expecting about 10 cm.
Snow also fell in northern France with Paris also picking up as much as 10 cm.
Firefighters clear snow Bucharest, Romania, 05 Feb 2012 (Reuters photo)
Frigid temperatures, which have plummeted to -30 C and lower in parts of Eastern Europe including Ukraine, have lead to the deaths of more than 130 people.
The lingering cold spell is the worst in at least six years with many of those who have died being homeless.
Snow lovers are basking in Sarajevo where a record 107 cm has fallen.
Meantime, about 15 cm of snow has fallen in parts of England and temperatures dropped to -10 C with travel disrupted in London.
A coating of snow was also reported in Paris with more to come in northern France.