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Spring could bring Arctic snow and ice, Met Office warns

In March last year snow covered parts of the UK as seen here in Lancashire. Credit: PA

The Met Office is warning that an Arctic blast could bring snow, hail and storm-force winds on the first official day of spring.

On Monday night a cold front will sweep across the country followed by freezing air from the Canadian Arctic.

A weather warning has been issued for the north of the UK for snow and ice overnight on Monday and into Tuesday.

The vernal equinox on March 20 marks the beginning of spring for the Northern Hemisphere.

Meteorologists say Up to 5cm of snow could fall in high places across Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In 2013 heavy snow fell across the Yorkshire Dales in April. Credit: PA

Forecaster Grahame Madge said: "We've got a couple of cold fronts moving through during Monday afternoon bringing some rain.

"Behind the cold front, we've some quite cold air from the Canadian Arctic bringing much colder temperatures to parts of the UK.

"We have issued a yellow warning for snow and ice over most of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

There will be a risk of snow on high ground in the north of England during the rest of the week before conditions improve on Saturday.

Mr Madge said: "During the week, there is a likelihood we will see wintry showers in parts of north England as well on high ground and there will be a mix of hail, sleet and snow."

Fine and sunny spells are forecast for the weekend, but temperatures could still fall below freezing overnight.