Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Winter returns to the UK!

After a mild end to February when England basked in spring-like sunshine, winter is set to return with a vengeance, forecasters predicted yesterday.

Freezing temperatures, harsh winds and even heavy snow are expected in some areas later today. As the country was warned to brace itself for the onslaught, millions were left hoping that Britain is better prepared this time around. During last month’s unexpected “white-out”, the UK was thrown into chaos.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for heavy snow today in Scotland. But throughout the week strong winds and driving rain are expected to hammer huge swathes of Britain.

Forecasters warned that snow could hit anywhere across England and Wales from tomorrow.

The return of winter will come as a stark change. After a respite from last month’s arctic conditions, much of the country has been enjoying temperatures nudging double figures with crisp, dry days.

“Unfortunately, the rest of this week looks rather unsettled,” said Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers. “We will see a classic mixed bag of wintry weather with some rain, snow and sleet.

“The main change will sweep in from today with quite a lot of rain during the day and overnight."

“Some places will see nearly two inches over a four-hour period, particularly the northern high-ground areas. Today will be the windiest day, with speeds getting up to 45mph in coastal areas, which will make it feel very cold.”

The mercury will fall to sub-zero figures overnight, with widespread frosts. I

n the meantime, at Claines Canna, we have put back the fleece covering over the stock plants growing in their polytunnels, and we just hope that the frost does not get to the buried roots of what are sub-tropical plants. This is the hardest winter for many years and as a grower of tropical and sub-tropical plants I have never felt more vulnerable.

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