Britain plunged back into winter as snow, sleet and thunder to batter the country

Hail, sleet, snow and thunder will sweep the country for a week, with temperatures in the north below zero, experts said

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Britain is to be plunged back into winter as icy winds blow in from the North Pole.

Hail, sleet, snow and thunder will sweep the country for a week, with temperatures in the north below zero, experts said.

The RAC said: “Dig out the de-icer and scraper.”

Southern areas also face the risk of flash floods, just days after Britain basked in sunshine nudging 25C.

Heavy downpours are expected to lash the London Marathon.

A blast of bitter cold air from the Arctic threatens to send temperatures below zero across the country from Sunday.

Icy winds from the North Pole will make it feel close to -10C in the north next week with snow and harsh frosts expected.

Although slightly warmer in the south it will still feel much cooler with daytime temperatures struggling to get above low double figures.

The dramatic plunge means Britain will go from being hotter than Turkey and Ibiza to colder than Moscow, Stockholm and Finland in the space of a week.

The Met Office has forecast rain throughout Sunday morning in the capital with the chance of thunderstorms and heavy downpours early on.

Spokeswoman Laura Young said: “It is going to be much cooler widely next week due to a Polar maritime air mass moving across the country.

“Anywhere in the UK could see wintry showers although in the south it is more likely over higher ground.

“The marathon is looking cooler and wet, so it is a pretty miserable outlook especially for onlookers standing around in the rain.”

The dramatic change is due to the jet stream taking a sudden southwards plunge allowing cold air from the north to flood into the UK.

Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, said: “Next week is certainly going feel like a return winter and will be very different to the warm weather we have just had.

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