Winter weather set to stay in Leicestershire as first day of spring arrives
Tomorrow is the first day of spring – but do not pack away your woollies just yet, winter is set to overstay its welcome.
The forecast is for temperatures to dip as low as -3C (26F) tomorrow, with a high of just 3C (37F).
Icy eastern winds will ensure we feel the cold and there is the possibility of sleet in some parts of the county.
Met Office spokesman Charlie Powell said: "The winter is getting a bit long in the tooth now and we still have some sleet and wintry showers coming for the Midlands.
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"Tomorrow will see more easterly winds, which means it feels very cold.
"The air will be coming from eastern Europe and Scandinavia, possibly picking up moisture from the North Sea.
"Temperatures won't rise much this week."
Charlie said there was a chance spring could arrive some time next month.
"It's going to be the same sort of changeable weather for the rest of March, I think," he said.
"There's the threat of some snow moving in on Thursday and Friday, but I think Leicester may get away without seeing any.
"That doesn't mean it will be warm, though. It will probably stay cold, with wind making it feel like it's freezing."
Tony Donovan, director of Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland, said: "Our clients are getting increasingly concerned about their energy bills.
"Normally, they would be turning the heating off about now but we're having such prolonged bad weather they are having to keep it on.
"Older people have thin blood so they feel the cold more than the rest of the community and obviously if they can't keep warm their health gets affected."
The continued cold weather is also having an effect on wildlife.
Anne Hayto, chairman of Aylestone Meadows Appreciation Society, said: "There are no signs of spring yet in Aylestone Meadows and the only flowers are the late snowdrops, which would usually be over by now.
"It's a really late spring and the ground is also very water-logged, which puts back the spring flowers coming out, too."
She said it warm weather was needed to encourage insects, which in turn sustain other species.
"In April, we'll have the swallows arriving and hopefully there will be plenty of food for them," said Anne.
"If there aren't enough insects it can affect on their development, so the birds feel the knock-on effect, too."