Spring will bloom next week as the cold snap that is winter's last blast moves away, according to forecasters.

Temperatures will reach up to 20C on Sunday in parts of the south and east and will get up to double figures across all of Britain after one of the coldest recorded Marches in history.

Sky News meteorologist Chris England said temperatures are set to rise next week as the jet stream steers away from the Atlantic. The narrow band of very strong winds, which moves weather systems around the globe, has been blamed for the recent bad weather.

He said: "It's going to turn warmer as the weather system comes over from the south but the downside is that there'll be rain and wind before we get there."

Billy Payne, a forecaster for the Press Association, said: "We are seeing change on the way through today, with heavy rain pushing north and bringing temperatures up with milder air before things get warmer next week.

"By Sunday and into Monday temperatures should be driving towards 20C in the south east and East Anglia, and double digits in Scotland and the north of England."

The unseasonable weather has caused chaos for farmers, the transport network and homeowners throughout March and the Easter holiday.

In some parts of Britain, the continuously low temperatures have formed rarely seen ice formations.

Hundreds of farmers have lost livestock and wildlife is said to have been hit hard by weather that has left many animals struggling to find food.

Average temperatures between March 1 and 26 were just 2.5C (36.5F), three degrees below the long-term average, the Met Office said.

This would make it the coldest March since 1962 and also the fourth coldest in the UK since records began in 1910.

The coldest March in the UK was in 1962, at 1.9C (35.4F), followed by 1947, 2.2C (35.9F), 1937, 2.4C (36.3F), and 1916 and 1917, 2.5C (36.5F).