Britain could be hit by another ‘Beast from the East’ in the coming weeks because of an unusual meteorological event currently taking place above the North Pole.
The sudden stratospheric warming, or SSW, began on Tuesday and could trigger weather changes that would lead to a severe cold snap in Britain.
Dr Richard Hall, an expert in SSWs from the University of Bristol, said it ‘loads the dice’ or ‘tips the odds’ in favour of another blast of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures from Siberia.
Meanwhile, for today and tomorrow, the Met Office has issued weather warnings for some snow and widespread icy conditions. Up to 3cm (1.2in) of snow could fall on high ground.
Drone footage in North Wales showing a cyclist riding through a snowy forest. David King, from Wrexham, decided to take a bike ride into the Clwydian Range next to the Moel Famau mountain and brought his drone along
A couple walk their dogs on a frozen pond at Victoria Park in Glasgow on Wednesday morning
Stirling castle sitting above the city with snow covered mountains in Stirlingshire on Wednesday
Mr King, pictured above, with his drone while cycling in North Wales. For today and tomorrow, the Met Office has issued weather warnings for some snow and widespread icy conditions
Iceland of my fathers! Wales looks like Nordic forest
By Daily Mail Reporter
It could be a wild and remote forest in Canada or perhaps an arctic scene from Scandinavia.
But this stunning winter vista was snapped in North Wales, by a lone cyclist on a lockdown ride.
David King used a camera fitted to a drone to take the photograph after a brief heavy snowfall transformed a picturesque hillside into a winter wonderland.
Mr King, 41, from Wrexham, was staying with his parents during lockdown last month when he went for a bicycle ride in the Clwydian Range.
He was the only person in this remote spot and used his drone camera to record both his solitude and the beauty of the landscape as a ten-minute blizzard turned the forest from green to white.
‘Riding in the snow was very peaceful,’ he said. ‘Everything seems to be calmer when the snow is present.’
Forecasters say further rain, sleet and snow falling on frozen surfaces later today and tonight may result in treacherous driving conditions.
The weather warning covers northern and eastern England, most of the Midlands, Wales and the South West. Slightly improved temperatures are predicted next week.
For what follows that, meteorologists are closely monitoring polar weather patterns.
A study by experts at the Universities of Bristol, Exeter and Bath shows how dramatic meteorological changes above the North Pole can have severe consequences for the weather in the UK.
The first snowfall of the year came overnight and settled in Biggin Hill in Kent on Wednesday
A good amount of snow was seen settling in Biggin Hill in Kent on Wednesday
A woman goes ice skating as police urge members of the public to stay off the frozen pond at Queen’s Park in Glasgow on Wednesday. Forecasters predict that the old spell affecting much of the UK is due to continue
Police patrol the perimeter of a frozen pond at Queen’s Park in Glasgow on Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to remain slightly below average into next week
A family go for a lockdown walk as police urge members of the public to stay off the frozen pond at Queen’s Park in Glasgow. Britain could be hit by another ‘Beast from the East’ over the coming weeks
A couple walk their dogs and push one along in a pram on a frozen pond at Victoria Park in Glasgow. Slightly improved temperatures are predicted for much of the UK next week
During an SSW the stratosphere – the layer six to 31 miles above the Earth’s surface – can increase in temperature by up to 50C over a matter of days.
This disturbance can travel down through the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface and cause shifts in the jet stream, the fast-moving air currents that cool Europe.
UK experts studied 40 stratospheric warming episodes from the last six decades in the latest study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Dr Hall said an SSW happens ‘every two years in three’ and one is ‘taking place at the moment’.
The first snowfall of the year also arrived in Birmingham on Wednesday as an ice weather warning is in place for most of the north east of the country
Pictured: Snowfall in Birmingham on Wednesday after ice warnings were put out for most of the north east of the country
Two people walk up a slippery hill covered in ice amid snow fall at Biggin Hill in Kent. The weather warning covers northern and eastern England, most of the Midlands, Wales and the South West
Walkers on the final stretch to the summit of Mam Tor near Castleton in Derbyshire. A study shows how dramatic meteorological changes above the North Pole can have severe consequences for the weather in the UK
Stirling Castle in Stirlingshire, Scotland, is pictured on Wednesday morning sitting above the city with snow covered mountains, Stuc a Chroin and Ben Vorlich, visible in the distance
A gritter lorry treats an icy suburban road on Wednesday in Dalgety Bay, Scotland. Forecasters say further rain, sleet and snow falling on frozen surfaces later today and tonight may result in treacherous driving conditions
The almost deserted Port Eynon beach on the Gower Peninsular near Swansea, Wales, is pictured this afternoon during the third national lockdown, amid rising cases of coronavirus
In 2018 there was an SSW event two weeks before the ‘Beast from the East’ brought 50cm (20in) snowfalls.
However Dr Hall said only two thirds of SSWs reach the surface and the current one could ‘just peter out’.
He added: ‘The main area of impact is over Siberia where you get intense cold and that then extends westwards toward Europe.
‘We are right on the edge of this and so slight variations can affect if it reaches us.’