'Slow burrowing Beast from the East' weather could be felt shortly

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

A repeat of the sudden rise in weather temperatures over the North Pole which caused the Beast from the East in 2018 could bring freezing temperatures from late January and into February, Met Éireann's forecasting partner has warned.

The Met Office says that there are now signs that cold winter weather resulting from "a sudden stratospheric warming" is on the way. Such warming drives up temperatures in the artic but has the potential to cause the opposite effect further south including Ireland.

The warming started around Christmas 2018 and the winds at around 30km above the North Pole. 

The Met Office is uncertain over how quickly the effects this warming event will be on weather conditions over the UK and says that unlike the ‘Beast from the East’ last year, this event is burrowing down through the atmosphere relatively slowly.

However, Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Martin Young said there is evidence of the weather getting a lot colder.

“The latest forecast suggests the highest risk of any severe wintry weather is from late January and into February. Whether cold spells will be brought about by Arctic air arriving from the north or easterly flows arriving from the continent remains uncertain.

“However, before this happens we expect a rather changeable and relatively mild spell...From the middle of next week, and especially during the last week of January and into early February, there is an increased likelihood of cold weather becoming established across all of the UK.

"This would bring an enhanced risk of snow and widespread frost almost anywhere across the UK, but particularly across northern parts. However, the cold weather may not affect the whole of the UK and it is still possible that some milder and wetter interludes will intersperse this generally cold period, especially in the south," he said.