The UK has had its coldest winter in over thirty years, according to statistics just released by the Met Office.
As spring - meteorologically speaking - begins, many will be pleased to leave behind a winter that's seen temperatures drop as low as -22 in places. Thermometers plunged below zero nationwide with snow lingering for days at a time. This may have been great news for the Scottish ski resorts, but for the rest of us it's just been a long cold slog.
Unless you're of a certain age this winter has been a real shock to the system. So why has it remained so cold for so long?
Normally we'd expect our weather to arrive from the direction of the west, the Atlantic. This is mild in winter, bringing warm winds from the south and plenty of rain. The temperatures are further tempered by the gulf-stream and ocean current from the tropics, keeping the thermometer well above where it should be for our latitude.
The winter sees vast temperature differences in the heart of continents compared to the summer. Land - unlike the sea - cools and becomes very cold much faster than oceans. Every winter central and Eastern Europe becomes very cold. This winter our weather has seen winds and weather from the east, bringing cold air.
Ironically if this was June and not March we would be in t-shirts with the weather from the east. As quickly as the land loses heat in the winter, it's much faster to warm up once spring arrives. By June central Europe would expect to see temperatures in the mid 20s, so we'd be looking at temperatures soaring to the dizzy heights of about 20 degrees.
No guarantees though. Our weather could return to its usual orientation, the Atlantic, which will keep the weather mild and damp.