WINTER returned with a vengance after residents of the Highlands coped with an Arctic blast that brought snow to their communities yesterday.

This week's warm weather, which had seen temperatures higher than Barcelona in parts of the west Highlands was but a memory for people in some of the highest communities.

Motorist Annette McIntosh, of Tomintoul in Moray, the highest village in the Highlands, was left to scrape snow from her car.

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Weather forecaster John Lee of Meteogroup UK said every month since December last year has been milder than the long-term UK average, adding: "This is set to change over the next few days as high pressure situated over the Faroe Islands tracks steadily southwards.

"While this is likely to bring dry and fine weather, the air mass originated in the Arctic, which will lead to a drop in temperatures.

"So far the chilly air has only reached northern parts of the UK - midday temperatures on May 1 were in single figures across large swathes of Scotland."