BRITS will be battered by snowstorms and extreme temperatures as the Beast from the East is set to arrive next week.
The last Siberian weather front to be given the nickname hit in 2018 when snow blanketed large parts of Britain and temperatures plummeted to -10C.
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Snow has fallen overnight in Biggin Hill, Kent, as temperatures continue to dropCredit: Alamy Live News
Snow covers the village of Langthwaite in North Yorkshire after a snowy start to 2021Credit: PA:Press Association
The Met Office has warned of ice and snow today, with chilly temperatures to kick in this morning.
It’s already been a cold start to the year – with the Met Office issuing weather warnings in the days since New Year’s Eve.
But Siberian winds are still pushing in from the east, with the UK expected to see more frost, ice and snow during the rest of the week.
And forecasters are now warning that a “Sudden Stratosphere Warming” (SSW) could trigger another Beast from the East next week.
As well as the Beast from the East, meteorologists are also tracking a La Nina in the Pacific, which could bring wet and stormy weather as it increases the UK’s chances of westerly winds.
Scientists have predicted an imminent SSW over the North Pole, bringing severe consequences for jet stream and weather in the UK.
Earlier this week, temperatures dropped to -13C in parts of Scotland – with similar freezing temperatures expected throughout this week.
Weather forecasting models are now predicting with increasing confidence that a Sudden Stratosphere Warming event will take place this week.
Bunny the dog pictured with snowmen near the village of Whaw in North YorkshireCredit: PA:Press Association
The Beast from the East is set to strike next week, according to reportsCredit: Alamy Live News
Families having fun in the snow in the North Pennines in NorthumberlandCredit: PA:Press Association
A horse stands in a snow-covered field in Cowshill, County DurhamCredit: Reuters
Snowfall in near Inverness, ScotlandCredit: Northpix
There are three yellow ice warnings in place today
It’s already been a cold and snowy start to the year in the Brecon Beacons, Wales
Temperatures across the UK going into the weekend will plummet
Snowfall has caused traffic disruptions for people in KentCredit: Alamy Live News
Three ice warnings are in place today, with wintry showers and icy patches expected in the east and central parts of Scotland and England, and southern parts of Northern Ireland.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: “You’ve got the two events happening at the same time so they vie against each other in a sense.
“They’re sort of fighting for influence over the UK, we’re a very small dot in the middle of the ocean.”
In 2018, Public Health England issued a Level 3 “cold weather action” alert, one step below “national emergency” as major services and power supplies were disrupted.
The winter of 2019 was relatively mild but experts warn this year we might not be so lucky again.
John Hammond from Weathertrending told The Sun Online: “So while last winter was very mild, there are signs that this winter will be quite different.
“Of course some places have already had snow, and much of early December stayed quite cold, with the possibility of further snow in places.”
BEAST FROM THE EAST
He said the notorious Beast from the East brought record cold temperatures because of a phenomenon called a Sudden Stratospheric Warming – which is when rapid warming occurs 10 to 50km above the earth’s surface.
Mr Hammond said: “That caused the ‘Polar Vortex’ to go into reverse, delivering bitter winds from Siberia, instead of our more usual mild Atlantic winds.
“There are signs that the stratosphere is beginning to ‘misbehave’ again this winter, which may have unpredictable and extreme impacts on our weather later on this winter.”
Mr Hammond warned that not every Sudden Stratospheric Warming leads to a Beast from the East but if it did then “the likelihood of a very cold spell of easterly winds would increase markedly”.
He added: “With this would come the chance of severe snowfall and extreme cold. – last seen after the Sudden Stratospheric Warming event in late winter 2018.”
The Beast from the East in 2018 hit the UK in early March after smashing into Storm Emma.
The lowest temperature recorded during the historic cold spell was -14C in Cairn Gorm in the Scottish Highlands.
At least 19 inches of snow fell on high ground.
It lead to at least 17 deaths in the UK – including a seven-year-old girl in Cornwall.
Schools were forced to shut and hundreds of flights were grounded.
An ice skater practices on a frozen pond in Queen’s Park, Glasgow, west ScotlandCredit: AFP or licensors
Sheep in the snow near Barley on the side of Pendle Hill, Burnley, LancashireCredit: Alamy Live News
The Beast from the East could hit next weekCredit: PA:Press Association