A sequel to the notorious ‘Beast from the East’ which battered Britain in 2018 could be heading for London.
New long-range forecasts from the Met Office shows a major ‘Sudden Stratospheric Warming’ (SSW), which sees rapid warming occur high up in the stratosphere. This phenomenon is linked to harsh wintry conditions as it can cause the jet stream to meander off course.
A SSW in February 2018 caused the ‘Beast from the East’, a winter storm which saw a whopping 22 inches of snow fall in some areas and around £1.2 billion in economic damage. Now there is a 80 per cent chance that we will see another SSW towards the end of this month, says the latest Met Office blog, but extreme weather is far from certain.
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The forecaster wrote: “A major SSW often makes the jet stream meander more, which can lead to a large area of blocking high pressure over northern Europe, including the UK.
“This blocking high pressure can lead to cold, dry weather in the north of Europe, including the UK, with mild, wet and windy conditions more likely for southern areas of the continent. However, this is not always the case and impacts on UK weather can also be benign when an SSW occurs.”
Prof Adam Scaife, Head of Long-Range Forecasting at the Met Office, said that “any effect on UK weather” is most likely to occur in late February and March. In the meantime, freezing fog and frosty conditions are expected to cause disruption on Wednesday.
Motorists have been advised to take precautions during the rush hour as visibility could be reduced to as little as 50 metres in some areas. A yellow Met Office weather warning is in place for southern England and East Anglia from 3am until 11am on Wednesday morning – including London.
Temperatures in London tonight could bottom out at a very chilly -5C but are due to rise to highs of 9C tomorrow while it stays dry and sunny. The cycle of cold nights and dry sunny days is set to continue over the weekend, with some light breezes in places.
Next week could be more of the same, though more changeable conditions are expected with a chance of rain. Throughout the rest of the month the forecaster says “there is a low probability of some much colder weather developing”.
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