Is it really going to snow?

Over the last few days the UK has been under the influence of high pressure giving us plenty of sunshine and record breaking temperatures but also overnight frosts in places. This weekend sees a gradual return to weather we would normally expect for the time of year.

Visible satellite images at 0900 GMT for 26 March 2012 (left) and 28 March (right) showing cloud slowly increasing from the northwest

Temperatures will return to the low teens during Saturday and Sunday as winds become north-westerly and bring in colder air from the Arctic. We will also get more in the way of cloud and perhaps a little rain too, although this will mostly be confined to the northern half of the UK. Some newspapers have made a lot of the potential for snow as we head through the weekend and into next week. Although this is possible it should be pointed out that any snow will be mostly over the tops of the Scottish hills and mountains, where a few snow showers are possible but no sizeable accumulations are expected. By Monday, even parts of the Pennines may see a dusting of snow over the peaks.

Although the chance of some snow flurries is a marked change to the weather of the last week or so, it is certainly not unusual for this time of year. In fact you are more likely to see snow at Easter than you are at Christmas in the British Isles.

The southern half of the country is likely to remain dry with sunny spells over the next few days but some light rain is on the cards by mid-week.

Here, Chief Forecaster Anthony Astbury explains how the weather is going to change from the recent warm sunshine to much colder conditions with night frosts as we head towards Easter.

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