Are we in for another ‘Beast from the East‘?
Over recent days, there has been speculation from several quarters that the cold wave which blanketed the UK in snow last February could return with a vengeance.
After cold nights on Wednesday and Thursday, it was reported a “rare triple polar vortex” would bring snow and ice down towards the end of January.
Bookmakers slashed the odds on this month being the coldest January on record, due to a sudden stratospheric warming high above the Arctic.
But should you really start stocking up on salt and snow shovels now? Met Office experts have given their view.
Deputy Chief Meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “Well, it is true that a sudden stratospheric warming has happened. The warming started around 22 December 2018 and the winds at around 30km above the North Pole have now reversed from westerly to easterly.
“At ground level we know that sudden stratospheric warmings tend to weaken the UK’s prevailing mild westerly winds, increasing the chances of us seeing colder weather a couple of weeks after a sudden stratospheric warming.
“However, it’s important to note that not all sudden stratospheric warmings lead to colder-than-normal conditions over the UK and there are other global weather factors that result in blocked weather patterns and possible colder weather for us.”
He said the first 10 days of the month didn’t show a “strong signal” for the cold Easterly flow which caused the Beast from the East last year.
And it’s too early to provide much detail about what the rest of the month will be like yet.
The six-30-day forecast, which is much vaguer than the week-by-week forecast, suggests conditions will be “mobile” for a while, though the end of the month may well bring a risk of frost, fog and snow.
So, yes, we could see another cold spell, though for now, it’s far from certain.
And while snow may well fall, it’s impossible to say yet whether we’re in for the chilliest start to a year yet.
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Met Office has its say on another Beast from the East hitting the North East have 386 words, post on www.chroniclelive.co.uk at January 3, 2019. This is cached page on Business News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.