'Arctic plunge' to bring snow this Easter - before heatwave

A spaniel plays in snow in Nenthead on the Cumbria and Northumberland border.

Britons expecting a warm Easter at home are set to be disappointed as forecasters have predicted an 'Arctic plunge' for the holidays, bringing icy, wet and windy weather to the UK.

Chief forecaster of The Weather Channel Leon Brown tells AOL Travel that the middle of next week could turn colder and more unsettled with showers in the run up to Good Friday.

"Over the Easter Weekend, the north will continue unsettled with showers which may be wintry, and below normal temperatures," he said.

"The south hopefully will begin to improve with fewer showers later as pressure begins to build again, but temperatures will still be cool.

"The best of the weather this Easter will be later in the weekend and over the far south of the UK."

Mr Brown says: "We are expecting a colder Arctic plunge for Easter. It looks like it may well become windy and showery, the showers wintry too with snow over high ground in Scotland, but possibly even to lower levels. This may be the main weather story in the coming days - a rather cold Easter, even though it is very late in April! Could be more like the weather we would expect in an early Easter in late March!"

But London Marathon runners will enjoy ideal conditions for the event. The Weather Channel predicts: "A cool and bright start with light winds, becoming partly to most cloudy from late morning to mid-afternoon with a slight 20 per cent risk of a light shower. Winds are expected to stay light from the North West. Afternoon temperatures will reach 15C before a fine evening."

Meanwhile, Mark Tanzer, of travel organisation ABTA, told the Daily Star: "We estimate that more than a million British holidaymakers are set to head overseas.

"Spain is the UK's favourite foreign holiday destination over the weekend, with the Canary and Balearic islands the most popular areas."

There's good news for the weeks ahead as weather forecasters have predicted a three-month heatwave from mid-April to June.

Many parts of the UK are set to enjoy higher-than-average temperatures, with the mercury rising all the way until the end of June.

But the Met Office, was a little cautious with this prediction, telling AOL Travel: "While it does say that above average temperatures are favoured for the UK for April-May-June, this is only in regards to the UK's mean temperature – which takes into account both day and night for the whole three months for the whole country."

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