The Met Office has confirmed that March was the coldest since 1962 and the second coldest since records began in 1910. It was also the coldest calendar month of winter and the last time this occurred was in 1975! Temperatures were on average 5.5c lower than last March. There is gradually light at the end of this long, cold tunnel with a hint it will warm up next week.
At present high pressure in the north is pulling in an easterly airflow - in other words very cold air from eastern Europe. We can all feel it in that icy cold wind. However, that will ease this weekend as high pressure moves further south, this shift means that the wind will swing around to a southerly and much milder direction.
Between now and the weekend we will hold onto the cold easterly wind, so despite the occasional sunny spells today it will feel cold.
Tonight it will be dry but the cloud will increase overnight. Temperatures again will be below freezing. Lows of -3c are expected in rural areas, -1 or -2c in towns and cities.
It will obviously be a cold start tomorrow but with some breaks in the cloud. Most places will be dry but we can't rule out a few sleet showers in the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands.
The wind will ease overnight tomorrow so Friday won't feel as cold. It will be a cloudy start but gradually some sunny spells will break through.
The weekend looks to be dry with sunny spells and lighter winds too. The wind will gradually swing around to a southerly direction so we should notice a difference by Sunday in that it won't feel as bitterly cold.
The trend is for temperatures to continue creeping up into next week. By Wednesday and Thursday they will be in the mid teens so a huge difference. The only problem is it will be windy at times and we'll see some rain too.