It was a wet and windy end to March as hailstorms hit central London today despite news that temperatures will top 20 degrees in April.
Although spring is on its way, temperatures have dipped below freezing in recent weeks.
And today has been no different as the capital was hit by a massive hailstorm around lunchtime – some areas saw their gardens completely covered in the large white pellets.
The Met Office noted that around 1.30pm heavy showers hit London as they appeared to be moving towards the north and north west and moving slowly to the east.
And people are sharing images and footage of the storm on social media, despite many Britons waking up to a glorious and sunny start, comparing the hailstones to pennies and peas.
People were shocked by the sudden hail around central London today. Some people claimed the hailstorm was so loud and powerful it “set off bike alarms”
Hailstones during a storm in East London this afternoon. And as the hail storm moved through the city and into east London, the British labeled the weather ‘crazy’
People took to social media to share photos and footage of the storm, despite Friday starting out gloriously sunny
Others claimed that the hailstorm was so loud and powerful that it started to “set off bike alarms.”
And as the hail storm moved through the city and into east London, the British labeled the weather as ‘crazy’.
One person wrote on Twitter: “I didn’t expect penny-sized thunder, lightning and hail today.”
A second comment: ‘I have just had the most extreme hailstorm here in Kilburn, NW London. Hail the size of marbles!’
While another said: ‘I just witnessed my very first hail core in London, still not melted after ten minutes and very close to lightning here. Pea-sized hail in West London. Hard hats at the ready Wembley, it’s coming your way.’
And a fourth wrote: ‘A lot of weather in London today. Five minutes ago it was radiant sun, now it’s hailstones.’
The Met Office has forecast showers to cool down around the capital around 3.30pm today, with occasional showers for the rest of the evening.
So if you go out tonight, bring an umbrella.
Earlier today, the weather service wrote on Twitter: “There will be occasional heavy showers with a chance of hail, thunder and lightning, but with the strength of the wind those should pass quickly.”
And frost is expected to hit parts of Britain in the coming nights, with freezing temperatures as far south as Hampshire, and wintry showers in the Pennines and North Wales.
The change will arrive north Saturday night, with the arrival of a streak of rain, sleet and snow showers moving south, and the weather won’t warm back up until mid-week.
The Met Office wrote on Twitter today: ‘There will be occasional heavy showers with a chance of hail, thunder and lightning, but with the force of the wind they should pass quickly’
Londoners were shocked to see their gardens covered in large hail as the storm swept across the capital at lunchtime today
Nicola Maxey, a spokeswoman for the Meteorological Bureau, said: ‘The cold air will move south on Sunday, in most of the country except the far southwest, and we will see temperatures drop.
“There is a chance of frost, some of which could be widespread, and showers could become wintry in the northern half of the country.”
Ms Maxey continued to say temperatures could drop to -5C (23F) in some northern cities and even colder in rural areas.
In the north, freezing is expected first on Saturday, followed by a wider frost from Sunday to Monday, with -1C (30F) or -2C (28F) as far south as Southampton, and -4 or -5C (25-23F ) in cities like Leeds or Newcastle.
More frost is expected on Monday or Tuesday night.
And on Sunday there could be wintry showers in Scotland, Pennine areas of northern England and also the mountains of North Wales, but Ms Maxey said snow is unlikely to settle on high ground overnight.
A more organized swath of rain, hail and snow could move across northern England on Monday, with spells of cold sunshine elsewhere.
Daytime temperatures are likely to be in the mid-single digits Celsius (40s Fahrenheit) for the next few days, rising to 11C (52F) in the London area by Tuesday.
London’s hailstorm follows news that temperatures could drop to -5C (23F) in some northern cities in the coming days and even colder in rural areas
Frost is expected to hit parts of Britain in the coming nights, with temperatures reaching below freezing as far south as Hampshire, and wintry showers in the Pennines and North Wales
The Met Office has predicted intermittent showers for the rest of the evening today
Meanwhile, a senior meteorological consultant told Jim Dale of British Weather Services The mirror that ‘there are good signs’ that there will be a change in the weather at Easter.
He has predicted that the south and east of England will enjoy the warmer climate the most.
Mr Dale said: ‘It’s not a given, but there are good signs that this kind of change of fortune will come just in time for Easter.
“If we give it some time – and I’m not just talking about Good Friday or Saturday, but certainly the end of the bank holiday weekend and the week after that before the school holidays – it looks like it could be warmer.’
The forecaster also added: ‘I would expect as we go through the Easter period I would expect to see the temperature shift from 20 degrees in the south and east, and maybe even north into eastern Scotland.’
He also said that as we go through the Easter period, he expects the 20-degree mark to ‘bump’ south and east, and perhaps even north, into eastern Scotland.
And in its long-term forecast, the Met Office has said that while early April will see some ‘unstable conditions’, the British can expect temperatures to be ‘generally above average’.
The multi-year forecast for Tuesday, March 28 – Thursday, April 6 reads: ‘Mostly dry Tuesday with local showers in the north and east, possibly snow above higher areas. Usually cold and stable, with a chance of some unsettled weather from the west later on.
“The wetter conditions are likely to come in at the end of March, especially in the northern areas. Southern and eastern areas are likely to be drier, although the chance of showers or downpours is likely to remain here. Strong winds are likely, with a low risk of storms, mainly in western parts.
More settled conditions and drier interludes are becoming increasingly likely through early April, although there is sometimes a chance for wetter, possibly thunderstorms. Temperatures are generally above average, although colder conditions remain possible in the far north and northeast at first.’
And for Friday, April 7 – Friday, April 21, the weather service said, “A general trend towards less uncertain conditions is likely in April.” Occasionally a bit wetter weather, with occasional showers, which can be heavy or thunderstorms.
“However, most areas are likely to see some periods of dry weather, with possible frost and some fog overnight.” The chance of strong winds is probably less than normal, and although the temperature is generally almost slightly above normal, cooler periods remain possible.’
However, the Met Office has yet to release a detailed forecast for the Easter weekend – with specific forecasts for Good Friday, Saturday, Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.