WARNING – Week of Severe Disruption Likely as “Beast From the East” Encroaches UK

Take a big deep breath before you read this forecast….

It’s likely much of the British Isles will experience scenes such as the one below through next week, and in places WORSE.

…❄ A much colder week next week is forecast for the entire width & breadth of the British Isles with the coldest weather since 2010 indicated. Day time temperatures will struggle to reach 0°C with nigh time temperatures likely to near or bottom -10°C in many places. Snow showers also feature in the forecast, at times more prolonged giving significant disruptive accumulations especially for more eastern parts of the country.

Severe Cold

Wind chills below -10°C are forecast pretty much throughout the ENTIRE country through most of next week – in some places lower where winds strengthen to concentrate more severe falls of heavy snow

Strong winds are indicated across the country as the pressure gradient tightens, average wind speeds are forecast to be above 30mph in many locations. As a result blizzard conditions are likely to give way to severe drifts of snow in highland locations, however given the air is about 7°C past the minimum for snow to fall at sea level, drifts can’t be ruled out in rural, low level or even urban places either, especially those in the east more exposed to the raw wind.

The consensus is that temperatures will drop steadily through the week, with values hovering around freezing on Monday, however by Wednesday most places will be lucky to see temperatures of 0°C, and rural locations remaining 4 or 5°C below freezing. Some crisp winter sunshine is likely further west, however even here some snow flurries are possible in the increasingly viscous easterly wind.

Heavy Snow

As the wind strengthens through the week, snow showers and prolonged spells of snow will become more widespread across the country. Both intensity and “widespreadness” of the snow showers will increase steadily through the week. On Monday snow flurries will likely fall in the east, and slowly spread westwards, becoming more and more widespread, and more and more intense. It’s likely that most areas of the British Isles will see significant snow. Orientation of wind as an East South Easterly means a Thames streamer bringing the Greater London area heavy snowfall is possible, as well as the Central belt of Scotland.

1987 Compared to 2018 – A Snapshot

I’m sure many of you can remember the great freeze up of January 1987 which brought copious amounts of snow and the coldest weather arguably of the 20th Century in the British Isles. This is the 850hpa temperature chart from the 12th of January 1987:

The following image is the GFS forecast for Wednesday the 28th of February, when the severe cold is forecast to arrive. The temperatures indicated are only 2-4°C warmer than the ferocious cold of 1987, which crippled the country for a week with feet of snow, and temps struggling to reach MINUS 10°C on a couple of days.

It’s basic maths, to work out that if this spell is on average 3°C warmer, some places will struggle to get to -7°C for many days next week.

What does this mean? It means get the bloody sledge out.


Written by Kasim Awan of VeryWeather.co.uk.