A cold snap at the start of the weekend will give way to warmer and wetter weather in parts of the UK in the lead-up to Easter, meteorologists have said.
The Met Office said that while Friday would be a cold night, most areas would remain above freezing, except sheltered locations in northern England and Scotland, which could see dips down to -1C (30.2f) or -2C (28.4F).
There will be wintry showers in places with some lying snow possible over hills further north, while Saturday will start off cold with a risk of frost. But following this cold spell the weather would split along north and south lines, the Met Office said.
The northern half of Britain will have strong winds and heavy rain, particularly in parts of western Scotland where a yellow warning for rain is in force for 48 hours from 6pm on Sunday. People in these regions could expect to see 80-100mm of rainfall with the potential for 150-250mm over the highest ground, the Met Office said.
Meanwhile, in sheltered central and southern parts of the UK the weather will be calmer, with temperatures climbing to highs in the low 20Cs, the Met Office said.
It said the mercury could rise to 24C (75.2F) in south-east England by Tuesday. The maximum temperature recorded in March was 25.6C (78.1F), on 29 March 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.
The Met Office chief meteorologist, Andy Page, said: “From Saturday we are going to see a change in weather across the UK, with the northern and southern parts of Britain experiencing quite marked differences. The northern half of Britain will see strong winds and heavy rain, especially in parts of western Scotland where a Yellow warning for rain will be in force for 48 hours from 6pm on Sunday evening.
“However, in sheltered central and southern parts of the UK, weather conditions will be much calmer with temperatures climbing in the March sunshine to highs into the low 20s, with the possibility of 24C in south-east England by Tuesday.”
The Met Office said the weather was expected to change again from the middle of the week, with signs that cold air from the north could bring another dip in temperatures for Easter weekend. There was also a risk of some wintry showers in the north-east, the forecasters added.
The coldest Easter weekend on record was in 2013 when -12.5C (10F) was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on Easter Sunday, while the deepest snow recorded at Easter was on Good Friday in 2010 when 36cm was measured at Strathdearn, Inverness-shire.
The wettest Easter was in 1991 when 108.7mm of rainfall was recorded at Seatoller in Cumbria on Easter Monday.