UK faces Beast From the East return with freezing temperatures as Met Office spots 'sudden stratospheric warning'

17 February 2023, 06:15

Britain could be facing another Beast from the East
Britain could be facing another Beast from the East. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Brits are facing a return of the 'Beast from the East' in March after weather forecasters spotted a 'dramatic event' in the atmosphere.

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The sudden stratospheric warning (SSW) recorded by the Met Office is the same phenomenon that was linked to the major snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures of February and March 2018.

This warning takes 30km up in the atmosphere and is being monitored by forecasters, who say its full effect on the weather closer to the ground will not be fully clear for another two weeks.

Adam Scaife of the Met Office said: “It’s one of the most dramatic events in the atmosphere and causes the winds to collapse.

The Beast from the East brought massive snowfall
The Beast from the East brought massive snowfall. Picture: Getty
The UK had snow in December
The UK had snow in December. Picture: Getty
Members of the public are seen making their way through the snow in Tomintoul, Scotland in 2021
Members of the public are seen making their way through the snow in Tomintoul, Scotland in 2021. Picture: Getty

"Instead of them going from West to East they reverse and begin moving in the opposite direction."

The long range forecaster added: “That is taking place now and it’s drawing in the colder air from Russia and Siberia.

“It means the month of March is at greater risk of easterly winds and colder weather than it otherwise would be.”

As well as the Beast from the East five years ago. SSWs also took place before the so-called Big Freeze of 1963 and a period of record-breaking cold weather in 2010.

Massive winter storm brings snow and freezing temperatures to US

The Beast from the East saw as much as 22 inches of snowfall in some areas and led to around £1.2 billion in damage and 17 fatalities in total.

Read more: ‘Beast from the East’ return fears as UK set to be hit by sub-zero temperatures

Read more: Britain to be battered by 75mph winds this weekend as Storm Otto roars in

Hundreds of schools closed and the army was brought in to help the NHS.

It comes as Scotland and north-east England brace for 80mph winds brought by Storm Otto on Friday.

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