Freak snow, freezing temperatures and tropical storms across Europe are making the Bank Holiday washout here look almost pleasant.

In Spitzing in Germany, locals have been forced to wrap up after ten centimetres of snow brought out the snowploughs for the first time this year.

Further north in cities like Berlin, tropical storms have brought four days of chaos, dumping hailstones as big as golf balls, uprooting trees and causing widespread flooding.

There have been many fatalities across Germany from the weather, the most poignant being three workmen who sheltered beneath their bulldozer during a rainstorm only to die altogether from a single lightning strike.

Britain was drenched over the weekend in some of the worst rain of the year.

The AA said thousands had to cut their long weekends short, to battle appalling conditions on motorways.

Arctic winds hit the country on Monday at speeds of up to 50mph in what was described as one of the coldest Whitsun Bank Holidays.

However, the outlook for the rest of the week is better with temperatures rising again and rain in some areas.