Temperatures could plummet and bring prolonged cold conditions that could last into
March warns the Met Office
Biting winds sweeping down from the Russian tundra are predicted to hit due to a
weather phenomenon known as sudden stratospheric warming.
People are urged to be prepared to wrap up well, turn up the heating and and be aware
of health issues from cold conditions as a blast of sharp frosts and chilly temperatures
last for a period.
Forecasters said there are indications the weather will get colder due to an easterly
flow from Eastern Europe.
The Met Office’s chief meteorologist Andy Page said: “High pressure will become established
across the UK by the middle of this week bringing settled weather for most, but also
some frosty nights.
“However, as the high drifts east to be over Scandinavia by the weekend, it will
allow colder air from Eastern Europe to be drawn towards us.”
There are signs that this cold spell is likely to last well into next week with possibly
even colder air from Russia moving across the UK.
Although there is a very low risk of snow this week because of the dry nature of
the air, this could change the other side of the weekend.
The incursion of these cold conditions is linked to a meteorological event that has
happened high up in the stratosphere over the North Pole.
Prof Adam Scaife, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, explained: “Signs of this event
appeared in forecasts from late January and last week we saw a dramatic rise in air
temperature of around 50°C, known as a sudden stratospheric warming, at around 30km
above the North Pole.
“This warming results from a breakdown of the usual high-altitude westerly winds
and it often leads to a switch in our weather: with cold easterly conditions more
likely to dominate subsequent UK weather.”
Forecasters predict spell of bitterly cold weather