It may be sunny now, but it was far chillier this time last year.

Daffodils in bloom last year would have been covered by a blanket of snow.

Residents reported snow drifts and icy roads, just a week after the district enjoyed temperatures of 18C.

Tom Defty, of the Essex Weather Centre, put it down to a cold air mass from the Arctic, which had passed over Europe.

However this month, as temperatures reached 18C, he said: “We can’t say winter has been and gone because it never arrived.

“Spring is here and looking at the charts and forecasts for the next few weeks, it’s looking pretty good.

“Temperatures are going to be in double figures, which is above average."