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UK snow warning: Beast from the East DAYS away as major weather shift to spark cold snap

Daily Express logo Daily Express 30/11/2022 Nathan Rao

A freezing 'Beast from the East' weather system is continuing to strengthen over Eastern Europe and creep towards the UK. through the coming days before winds veer in from the east during the start of December threatening .

The ice blast will be driven by global meteorological events including a La Nina cooling of the Eastern Pacific and changes in pressure patterns across the Atlantic-the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: "It is now almost set in stone that Britain is about to see a major change in the weather to something much colder and possibly wintry in nature.

"This much colder weather for this period will be largely influenced by La Nina, which will have a knock-on effect on our weather via atmospheric circulation and pressure blocking patterns.

"The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is changing to a negative phase, and this will raise the chance of sustained cold weather and snow."

Beast from the East days away as major weather shift to spark cold snap © GETTY Beast from the East days away as major weather shift to spark cold snap Cold air creeps closer © WX Charts Cold air creeps closer

In late February 2018, the UK was hit by a wave of cold weather dubbed 'the Beast from the East'. Temperatures plummeted and heavy snow hit much of the country, triggering severe Met Office warnings. A second storm - Storm Emma - exacerbated the cold conditions and wreaked havoc.

  • The cold snap came from Anticyclone Hartmut, an event known as an Arctic outbreak
  • Between February 22 and March 5, 2018 Britain was plunged into freezing temperatures and hit by snow storms
  • The Met Office issued a red snow warning, with many Britons urged to stay home
  • Wind speeds reached 70mph
  • The lowest temperature recorded during this period was -14C in Faversham, Kent
  • Maximum snowfall was recorded as 57cm or 22in in Gloucestershire
  • Damage was caused to the tune of £1.2bn
  • 17 people were killed in the UK due to mixed effects of Storm Emma and Hartmut
Weather charts show the cold weather system arriving from the east © NETWEATHER Weather charts show the cold weather system arriving from the east

Bing Crosby's dreams of a white Christmas next month have not yet been dashed, with temperatures dropping in early December and a growing chance of snowfall throughout the festive month.

Snow and icy conditions look set to grace much of the north, Scotland and Wales in the coming days, mostly across high ground.

While there is no certainty over snowfall being present anywhere across the country on Christmas Day, there are some indicators that have been factored in - allowing one forecaster to look at the very real chances with just under one month to go.

The cold snap will be driven by a raft of weather drivers coming together at once to plunge Britain into the freezer.

High pressure over Europe and Scandinavia will steer winds in from the south-east, and eventually the northeast, which is when the threat of snow arrives.

The NAO, which describes the pressure balance between Iceland and the Atlantic, is weakening to a negative phase which encourages colder, drier conditions.

A freak three-year La Nina is also in the mix, although this is thought to have less of an effect on the UK weather.

However, all these meteorological drivers are about to come together to 'ignite fireworks', forecasters warn.

Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: "La Nina may play a part in this but more likely to influence this cold snap is the North Atlantic Oscillation.

"We are watching high pressure over Scandinavia and over Russia, which is still showing signs of bringing cold easterlies into Britain during the first half of December.

"There is a lot in the mix, so it is still a case of watching this space for the possibility of snow.

"We are currently, though, in a no-man's land, and it is a case of wait and see, although it will turn colder through the coming days."

Freezing air sweeps round high pressure towards Britain © WX Charts Freezing air sweeps round high pressure towards Britain Snow maps show a big risk of wintry showers on Wednesday © NETWEATHER Snow maps show a big risk of wintry showers on Wednesday

The Met Office is still holding off on long-range forecasts for the start of December but warned colder air will move in this weekend.

In the meantime, parts of the country will wake to frosts this week with cold nights bringing foggy mornings.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: "Where we get clear skies, a touch of frost is likely by dawn Wednesday, and things stay relatively settled during Wednesday with high pressure exerting its influence form the East.

"It is going to brighter across western parts of the country and southern counties of England, but across the heart of England into southern and eastern Scotland there will be some persistent fog, mist and low cloud, and it will be on the cold side where that happens."

As temperatures plunge, bookies have taken the axe to the odds on Christmas snow which requires one flake to fall anywhere on December 25.

Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Apati said: "Another imminent Beast from the East has led punters to believe we could well be on for a White Christmas, and we've trimmed odds on exactly that as a result."

The last Beast from the East snow blast hit Britain in 2018 when swathes of the country were buried in snow as temperatures in parts dropped to -14C.


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