Is the beast from the East back?
It is increasingly likely that the elusive beast from the east is back later this weekend and somewhere in the UK is going to get a serious dumping of snow!
The chances have increased to near 80% even for the snow-starved SE of England. Blizzards could appear and a bonus incredibly snowstorm from a channel low later next week.
This has all come about because of a cold plunge into Scandinavia and across the United States. These have increased the temperature gradients across Europe with a northerly push of hot air from Africa over Italy and Greece pushing northwards to meet the Arctic Air coming down from Norway. This energy will deepen the low pressure coming down across the UK on Friday and it should sit near the SE of England or near Holland/Belgium area. This will drag the Arctic air over the UK producing the Beast from the East. Always flirting with the warm air to the south this will increase the moisture in the atmosphere which in turn will produce the dumping of snow across the UK. Dragging the cold winds off the warm North Sea would mean that East Anglia could be buried in snow 30cm plus! But if the warmth is too close it could be lots of flooding. The snow would then be pushed further north over the Yorkshire area. Snow would be falling from Sunday till Wednesday building up the totals and amazing drifts would occur.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the plunge of even colder air pushing down from Canada will increase the temperature gradients and could spin up a low-pressure system with winds like a hurricane. This will move across the Atlantic to the UK and run along the English Channel bringing another snow event across the SW and Southern England. Blizzards would occur in the 40 to 70mph hour winds. The wind chill factor would be an extreme minus 15c and below.
In summing up we could be on for some amazing weather over the UK in the next week. Sub-zero temperatures for at least 5 days in southern England. Up north in Scotland where the cold hasn’t left this week could be on for over a meter of snow. Their best snow for decades just a shame their snow resorts wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this due to the pandemic.
On Wednesday 3rd February at 6 am we have 100% of the main weather computer models (ECM, GFS, MetOffice) suggesting easterly winds over the UK and they all show the low pressure occurring at 120 hours. The exact position of this low pressure on Sunday will determine the position of the Beast from the East. 100 miles north or south of the SE of England will determine who gets snow or torrential rain.
This winter (2020/21) the UK has nearly always been on the northern side of the jet stream a complete opposite to last year’s winter. Where no snow fell across the majority of the UK. But this year at the beginning of winter there was a lack of cold air from Scandinavia to Russia due to the background warming trend in those areas. The upper air temperatures weren’t supportive for snow this last couple of months. It needs to be close to -5c at 850 hPa (1.5km in the atmosphere) but on Sunday we could be dragging in the -10c and maybe even colder in Scotland. This means that any precipitation that falls will be snow. After the snowfall, if there are any clear spells with brief ridges of high pressure the temperature could fall close to -20c somewhere in the UK.
For the next few days let’s see what the weather brings to us in the UK. As I always say in the small print “the weather does what the weather wants to do “
If we do get this memorable weather in the next week I will be posting a follow-up post on what occurred.
Thanks for reading see you next time.