THE city is set to be blasted with snow just days after enjoying a rare spring heatwave – with forecasters warning up to 5cm of snow could hit the city.
Last week’s mini-heatwave is set to give way to a major cold front amid Met Office severe weather warnings and predictions of snow this afternoon and tomorrow.
The unseasonably warm temperatures were today expected to plummeting to around 3C as an Arctic chill blasts across the Lothians.
The Met office explained lurching between temperatures is not uncommon during early spring but described this week’s unexpected transition as “significant”.
The freeze will be a hazard for drivers especially on untreated roads. It has been reported that Midlothian Council has taken its gritters off standby.
A council spokesman said: “The normal period of gritting is November 1 to March 31.”
A Met Office spokesman said while the a winter chill will hit for a few days, Wednesday should see a return to brighter weather.
“It’s not unusual in April to get some sleet or snow showers but this would be quite significant for this time of the year. It’s typical spring conditions oscillating from hot to cold with the last vestiges of winter hanging in there.”
The Met Office also said it was putting out a severe weather warning from the area, and encouraged drivers to take care. “We are issuing a yellow warning for snow later today and tomorrow morning,” a Met Office spokesman said.
“In essence today is going to be pretty dull and dreary with rain on and off.
“Through this evening that rain will become heavier and tonight it will turn to snow.”
The Met Office said that March had been “unseasonably warm” but cold air from the Norwegian Sea was heading over to blast Britain with icy frosts. While the change in temperature will be something of a shock following last week’s high temperatures, it is not predicted to last.
“It does look as though it will start to clear away by 9am on Tuesday morning and most areas will see an overnight snow fall clearing away by early morning,” the Met Office said.
“The general idea is a coverage of snow about 2 to 5 cms however on the upland areas south of Edinburgh there could be a bit more snow.
“Tuesday to Wednesday will see cold, and frost with patchy ice. The good thing is that the wind-chill will be reduced for Wednesday, which should turn out to be a good day.”