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30th Dec 2023

UK set for second Beast from the East in the coming weeks

Ryan Grace

The Met Office has warned we could be in for heavy snow and freezing temperatures similar to 2018.

The UK has been victim of some pretty serious weather events in recent days.

Parts of Britain were hit heavily by Storm Gerrit, while a tornado touched down in parts of Manchester earlier this week.

The Met Office is now warning there’s a ‘greater than normal’ risk of snow in January.

Not only that, it worries that a second Beast from the East could be on the horizon.

February 2018 saw the UK hit by harsh easterly winds that brought with them a polar air mass.

It plunged most of the country into extremely snowy and icy conditions, and wreaked havoc with peoples’ ability to travel and live their lives.

Well, it’s believed a ‘sudden stratospheric warming’ could be on the cards once again, the same ingredients that caused the extreme cold almost six years ago.

A woman makes her way through the snow in March, 2018 in Balloch, Scotland. Freezing weather conditions dubbed the “Beast from the East” combines with Storm Emma coming in from the South West of Britain (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Is this the return of the Beast from the East?

Forecasters are warning it’s too soon to tell exactly when and where in Europe the cold weather will strike.

The ‘sudden stratospheric warming’ (SSW) would likely bring plunging temperatures about a week after the event.

Professor Liz Bentley is the hief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society.

She said:

“When you get an SSW it increases the likelihood of a prolonged cold spell across Northern Europe, like the Beast from the East.

It could impact the UK, it has the potential to, but I wouldn’t like to say it’s likely to.”

When could the Beast from the East arrive?

An SSW is on the cards for the next week.

However it takes a week for the effects to be felt for a week after that.

A cold spell is forecast for the second week of January, with some experts believing it could last into February.

The SSW i 2018 showed exactly just how bad the effects can be.

While one in 2019 didn’t have a strong influence on Europe at all.

Only time will tell what how this weather event will play out and how severely it will affect the UK.