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Scotland suffers one of the coldest May days for 23 years thanks to 1,000-mile wide Polar Vortex

Scotland has suffered one of the coldest May days for 23 years thanks to a 1,000-mile wide Polar Vortex with a 5C freeze on its way tonight.  

Snow flurries are forecast overnight on Scotland’s hills with the mercury plummeting to -5C, as out-of-season frost kills garden plants. 

Highs of 7C to 11C, 5C below average, will feel even colder in bitter windchill tomorrow, with the chill easing from Friday as temperatures rise to 15C by the weekend. 

Gritting lorries have spread salt over Scotland’s roads in recent nights in preparation for the freezing conditions. 

A cyclist stops to take a picture of the snow during his daily exercise on the A939 today as snow blizzards hit the Highlands. Snow flurries are forecast overnight on Scotland’s hills with the mercury plummeting to -5C

A lorry drives past during traffic on the A939 today as blizzards hit the Highlands. Salt has been spread over Scotland's roads in recent nights in preparation for the freezing conditions, with temperatures feeling colder in the windchill tomorrow

A lorry drives past during traffic on the A939 today as blizzards hit the Highlands. Salt has been spread over Scotland’s roads in recent nights in preparation for the freezing conditions, with temperatures feeling colder in the windchill tomorrow

A Met Office forecaster said: ‘You could be forgiven for thinking winter has returned, with fairly widespread frost and snow showers.’

Christmas week saw a December record of 18.7C in Scotland on December 28, Met Office records show.

Forecasters said the Polar Vortex – high-altitude winds which spin around the North Pole, keeping cold air trapped in the Arctic – has collapsed, allowing cold air to spill south. 

The phenomenon caused New York’s record latest ever snowfall at the weekend, and Britain’s -12C ‘Beast from the East’ in February 2018. 

The A939 near Tomintoul, a village in the Moray area of Scotland, pictured after fresh snow fell in the region on Sunday. It comes in stark contrast to Friday and Saturday, which saw scorching heat in many areas of the UK

The A939 near Tomintoul, a village in the Moray area of Scotland, pictured after fresh snow fell in the region on Sunday. It comes in stark contrast to Friday and Saturday, which saw scorching heat in many areas of the UK

Snow covered cars in the village of Tomintoul, where fresh snow fell on Monday. Forecasters said the Polar Vortex - high-altitude winds which keep cold air trapped in the Arctic - has collapsed, allowing cold air to spill south

Snow covered cars in the village of Tomintoul, where fresh snow fell on Monday. Forecasters said the Polar Vortex – high-altitude winds which keep cold air trapped in the Arctic – has collapsed, allowing cold air to spill south

Sheep and their lambs near Tomintoul, Scotland, where fresh snow fell on Monday. The out-of-season frost has killed many garden plants. But the chill is set to ease from Friday, as temperatures rise to 15C by the weekend

Sheep and their lambs near Tomintoul, Scotland, where fresh snow fell on Monday. The out-of-season frost has killed many garden plants. But the chill is set to ease from Friday, as temperatures rise to 15C by the weekend

It follows temperatures plunging across Britain on Sunday as Arctic air blasted the nation, bringing a stark contrast to the scorching heat brought by warm air rising from the south on Friday and Saturday.

Met Office’s Oli Claydon told MailOnline last week: ”On Sunday air is coming straight down from the Arctic maritime, an air mass which is very cold in nature, directly from the north and Arctic.

‘It can bring wintry showers with it as travelling over the sea so gets a bit of moisture.’  

Met Office’s Marco Petagna added: ‘Where’s summer?  

A van on the A9 near Inverness, where a blanket of fresh snow fell on Monday. It follows temperatures plunging across Britain on Sunday as Arctic air blasted the nation, bringing a sharp change to recent days

A van on the A9 near Inverness, where a blanket of fresh snow fell on Monday. It follows temperatures plunging across Britain on Sunday as Arctic air blasted the nation, bringing a sharp change to recent days

A house near Nethy Bridge, a small village in Strathspey in the Highland area of Scotland, where snow fell on Monday. Weather Outlook said this is Britain's worst May cold spell since 1997, when May 6 saw snow at 200 Met Office stations

A house near Nethy Bridge, a small village in Strathspey in the Highland area of Scotland, where snow fell on Monday. Weather Outlook said this is Britain’s worst May cold spell since 1997, when May 6 saw snow at 200 Met Office stations

A snow-covered sign near the village of Tomintoul where snow fell on Monday. A Met Office forecaster said: 'You could be forgiven for thinking winter has returned, with fairly widespread frost and snow showers'

A snow-covered sign near the village of Tomintoul where snow fell on Monday. A Met Office forecaster said: ‘You could be forgiven for thinking winter has returned, with fairly widespread frost and snow showers’

‘A cold front from Iceland is being driven into the UK, with snow on Scotland’s hills.’

Former BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond, of weathertrending, said: ‘The Polar Vortex has collapsed, abruptly helping an unusual chill to escape into northern Europe and North America.’ 

The Weather Outlook said this is Britain’s worst May cold spell since 1997, when May 6 saw snow at 200 Met Office weather stations across the UK. 

Brian Gaze said: ‘It looks like the worst May cold spell since 1997.

‘New plants face a wipe-out. Biting northeasterly winds will make it feel bitter, -5C in Scotland is expected.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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