Easter holiday rain: Stormy weather and snow on the way

The Portuguese meteorological service has named Storm Olivia - the remnants of which could hit Scotland.

After a few decent days over the Easter weekend, we’re entering a much more unsettled phase in our weather.

A huge temperature contrast is developing across the UK just now as cold air lingers across Scotland and warmer air is being pumped into England from the continent.

Temperature on Friday could reach the high teens or even the low 20s in parts of southern England while in Inverness we’ll be lucky to get to 5C.

In addition to the cold conditions, there will be further spells of rain, with some heavier bursts at times over the coming days.

On Friday, a period of heavy snow can be expected, mainly above 200 metres in the northern parts of the country, but some sleet and even wet snow is possible to lower levels at times – especially in the north Highlands.

It’s therefore likely that some of the higher roads in the far north, along with the higher spots of the A9 south of Inverness could see wintry conditions for a time on Friday.

As much as 10-15cm of snow may accumulate in grassy areas over 300 metres.

The Portuguese meteorological service has named a storm which is heading for the Azores today as Storm Olivia, and it looks like the remnants of that heads our way this weekend.

The whole of Scotland will experience blustery conditions, but the strongest winds will affect the Hebrides on Saturday and Sunday with the risk of severe gales and a good chance of gales over the mainland, which is unseasonable for April.

It’s likely the stronger winds at the weekend will disrupt ferry travel around the north and west of the country, and given that it’s the spring holidays and routes may be busier than normal this could be more impactful.

During the weekend winds could also gust in excess of 70mph on the mountains, so hillwalkers should take note of these severe conditions.

While no weather warnings have been issued yet by the Met Office, I think it’s likely we’ll see some appearing soon.

While Scotland remains in the cold air until Friday, as the winds pick up over the weekend, warmer air from the south will push our way.

By the weekend, temperatures could well be in the mid-teens across many areas, although the strong winds will make it feel cooler. The weather will also remain very showery.

Sometimes in April we start to see indications towards a longer spell of settled and warmer conditions, but as it stands just now it looks as if it will remain changeable until at least mid-month.

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