UK weather – Britain blanketed by snow, sleet and hail as temperatures plunge to -5C overnight

BRITAIN has been blanketed by snow, sleet and hail with temperatures plunging to -5C overnight.

The chilly weather means pubgoers may need to swap their sunglasses for thermals at beer gardens across the country today as lockdown restrictions lift.

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After a biting night it will be a "cold and frosty" start for much of the UK.

Rain and snow will fall across the west and south west by dawn, according to the Met Office.

"Showers and hill snow" will sweep across Northern Ireland and Wales first thing, spreading to the Midlands and south west England by mid-morning.

Wintry showers will then reach parts of south east England, with higher ground facing the brunt of the conditions.

The cold snap comes just in time for the reopening of pubs and restaurants outdoors as Britain takes a major step towards normality.

Thousands of Brits hoping for an afternoon soaking up the sun in pub gardens may need to bring a few extra layers.

Temperatures will hover around freezing before lunchtime, and struggle to get above 8C at all throughout the day.

However, some lucky northerners and Scots will see sunshine and temperatures of up to 11C.

Monday night will be "cold and frosty" and the chill will continue into Tuesday.

It follows the coldest April day in England in eight years on Wednesday, when the temperature hit a biting -7.5C in Benson, South Oxfordshire.

But pub-goers should be able to enjoy a pint in the sun later in the week.

The mercury could hit 16C on Thursday, holding at 16C until April 19.

The Met Office forecasts "sunny spells" and mostly dry days, with more "settled conditions".

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