Britain has been battered by what experts have dubbed an 800-mile wide ‘weather bomb’, as forecasters warn that snow could now be on the way.
Parts of the UK were battered by 60mph winds overnight as gusts swept in from the north west and along England’s south coast and temperatures plummeted to 1C in some places.
The wind swept in as the Met Office issued a yellow weather alert, which included a warning of disruption to travel. Bridges were later closed, trees were blown down and properties were damaged due to high winds.
But as Britons bemoaned yesterday’s May Day Bank Holiday washout, today they were hit with more bad news.
The Met Office is now forecasting a band of showery rain across central UK this evening, and wintry showers in parts of Scotland.
And while Wednesday initially looks optimistic, with sunny spells breaking through, the Met Office has warned it could bring snow to hilly areas of the north.
Areas of frost are also expected overnight in the UK on Thursday and Friday, before more rain and winds in the north.
There could then be more snow next week, according to the Met Office. However, in a ray of hope for the return of Spring, forecasters predict that temperatures could return to ‘near average’ later in the week.
The dreary forecast comes as coastal areas were last night battered by strong gusts. Brighton was the windiest part of the country this morning, with gusts of up to 55mph battering the Sussex coastal city.
Wind speeds of up to 50mph also battered Merseyside, with the coastal town of Crosby bearing the brunt.
It comes as police in London were last night pictured pulling up a fence which had crashed down into the middle of a road in upmarket Mayfair.
In Whitehawk, Brighton, a tree was blown down – narrowly missing the front of a block of flats – while a tree in Southend, Essex, came crashing down across a residential road.
Britain was last night battered by what experts have dubbed an 800-mile wide ‘weather bomb’, as forecasters warn that snow could now be on the way
Parts of the UK were battered by 60mph winds overnight as gusts swept in from the north west and along England’s south coast and temperatures plummeted to 1C in some places. Pictured: A pedestrians braves the gusts in London today
The wind swept in as the Met Office issued a yellow weather alert, warning of disruption to travel. Bridges were later closed, tress were blown over and properties were damaged due to high winds. Pictured: Workers remove a tree which had fallen onto a house in Cardiff, Wales
The Met Office is now forecasting a band of showery rain across central UK this evening, and wintery showers in parts of Scotland. And while Wednesday initially looks optimistic, with sunny spells breaking through, the Met Office has warned it could bring snow to hilly areas of the north
High winds, heavy and stormy seas batter the Newhaven lighthouse and harbour in East Sussex – which was one of the worst hit areas for wind last night
A sign for Poundland was also blown down into the street as winds swept the south-coast last night.
Trains were delayed in the Dartford area of Kent yesterday evening after a tree came crashing down across a railway line, while the Severn Bridge between England and Wales was closed yesterday and earlier this morning due to high winds.
Hundreds of properties also suffered power outages in Wales, where off-shore winds of up to 75mph were recorded.
Meanwhile, firefighters in Gosport, Hants, braved the gusts to secure a roof which had become damaged in the high winds.
Yesterday firefighters in Manchester closed off a road after part of a house collapsed in high winds yesterday.
The Met Office earlier warned of more disruption to travel, damage to trees and large waves in coastal areas as part of a weather warning covering much of Wales and the south of England.
A Poundland sign came crashing down in the south-east this morning as high winds battered the south coast of England
Police in London were last night pictured pulling up a fence which had crashed down into the middle of a road in upmarket Mayfair
Firefighters in Gosport, Hampshire, braved the gusts to secure a roof which had become damaged in the high winds
Commuters face a battle to keep hold of their lattes this morning as 55mph gusts batter parts of England – after winds brought trees and shop signs crashing down last night
A fallen beech tree blocking Woolton Road in Liverpool this morning after strong winds and bad weather hit the UK overnight
A tree came crashing down in Southend, Essex, today as high winds battered parts of England and Wales yesterday and overnight
In Whitehawk, Brighton, a tree was blown down, narrowly missing the front of a block of flats
The warning, which was due to end at 9am this morning, warns of spell of disruptive winds from Monday afternoon until Tuesday morning.
As part of its warning, the Met Office said: ‘Some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely.
‘Probably some bus and train services affected, with some journeys taking longer. Delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges likely.
‘Damage to outdoor temporary structures possible, with some tree branches down too.’
Yesterday more than 150 firefighters in Dorset battled two heath fires – which were being fanned by strong winds.
The blazes broke out in the area of St Leonards and St Ives and nearby neighbouring Verwood.
Fire crews from across Dorset and Hampshire took several hours attempting to extinguish the flames that were whipped up by strong winds.
Detailed examinations of the areas are being carried out to determine the cause of both fires.
Damien Bence, area manager for the fire service, said: ‘Both of these incidents are incredibly resource-intensive and we are grateful to colleagues in Hampshire & Isle of Wight for their support.
‘The strong winds are making the firefighting conditions very challenging, but progress is being made with both fires, thanks to the hard work of crews.’
The fire at Verwood destroyed an area of heath measuring 31 acres and the second blaze covered an area of about 20 acres.
It comes after hopes of a bank holiday Monday of lockdown freedom were dashed by miserable weather.
Pub goers across England had hoped to enjoy a sunny three-day weekend to allow them to hit the beer gardens once again after Covid restrictions were lifted on outdoor drinking last month.
Yesterday more than 150 firefighters in Dorset battled two heath fires – which were being fanned by strong winds
Fire crews from across Dorset and Hampshire took several hours attempting to extinguish the flames that were fanned and whipped up by strong winds
Detailed examinations of the areas are being carried out to determine the cause of both fires in heath lands in Dorset
The fire at Verwood destroyed an area of heath measuring 31 acres and the second blaze covered an area of about 20 acres
The wind is sweeping down from the north west and along the south-coast, with Brighton one of the worst hit areas. The Met Office has wind speeds of up to 40mph, with gusts of up to 55mph recorded in some areas
How is the weather forecast looking for this week?
Tonight (Tuesday night): Daytime showers will ease for most and will become largely confined across northern and eastern Britain during the evening. Overnight will then be largely dry with clear spells and variable amounts of cloud cover. Showers will continue for a time for northern and central areas and coastal regions.
Tomorrow (Wednesday): A drier and brighter day with spells of sunshine although patchy cloud cover will tend to build during the morning. Showers will develop and these will be most frequent during the afternoon where they may be locally heavy. Showers may be wintry with hail and sleet across northern and eastern areas.
UK Outlook (Thursday and Friday): Thursday will bring scattered showers which will be largely across northern Britain and may bring hail and sleet. Spells of heavy rain for the far south of England. Friday will be generally dry and bright with lengthy spells of sunshine but a few showers will develop in the north and east.
Restrictions on pub gardens have also been lifted in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
But the rush back to the pubs have in parts been hampered by intermittent weather across the UK.
Scores of defiant drinkers and diners were left clutching their umbrellas as the storm force winds and showers made their way across the country earlier today, with pub owners closing their outdoor marquees and gazebos as the weather continued to deteriorate.
In Manchester city centre, diners braved the elements under their umbrellas as the rain washed over the city while others sported waterproof coats as they enjoyed a funfair in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, in Sidmouth, east Devon, there was little alfresco wining and dining as scattered blustery showers swept across the region and sent temperatures plummeting to 10C.
Even planes have been struggling to land in the gale-force winds on what forecasters predicted would be a miserable end to the bank holiday weekend.
Footage shows the moment a KLM flight from Amsterdam turns almost sideways as it attempts to keep in line with the tarmac through crosswinds at Bristol Airport earlier today.
Elsewhere, along the River Cam in Cambridge, a group of people sat under blankets as they braved the cold weather on Bank Holiday Monday.
And the changeable conditions are set to continue this week, according to the Met Office.
Today their forecast reads: ‘Many parts cloudy with showers or longer spells of rain, some heavy, especially in the north. Some sunny spells, mainly in southern England and northern Scotland.
A man leans into the gale force winds on the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset
Diners make the most of the Bank Holiday despite the weather in Manchester city centre yesterday
The wet bank holiday didn’t stop families enjoying themselves at an open air funfair in Huddersfield, Yorkshire
People under blankets as they brave the cold weather on Bank Holiday Monday as they go for a punt on the River Cam in Cambridge
‘Strong winds slowly moderating, though remaining blustery and feeling cold.’
‘On Wednesday there will be sunny spells and showers, some heavy with hail and thunder, especially in the north and east.
On the rest of the week, the Met Office forecasts: ‘Sunny spells and showers through Thursday and Friday with overnight frost in places.
‘Rain and strong winds spreading north and east through Saturday as it becomes warmer in the southeast.’