UK to freeze in -11C temperatures with possible return of Beast from the East

A return to sub-zero temperatures is being forecast for the end of February with possible lows of -11C in some regions of the UK.

It will represent a jolting dip for most in the country after the mild spring-like conditions that have characterised most of the month so far when high pressure systems have been dominating.

But, as February comes to a close, March is expected to witness a continuation of the cold chill.

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The freezing conditions are expected to be cause by a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) – the same phenomenon that ushered in 2018’s 'Beast from the East' at an identical time in the calendar year.

It means the current highs of 13C in southern regions and 11C in northern areas will give way to an Arctic blast that will prove a shock to the system for many.

By the end of this working week, gusty winds are expected to batter the north before heading further south.

The third sustained cold spell of weather this winter will then be ushered in during the final days of the month following January's sub-zero week and December's freezing fortnight.

A Met Office forecaster said: "During February 25 to March 11, a period of colder or much colder temperatures is a possibility."

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Nick Finnis, from Netweather, added: "An SSW means there could be much colder and wintry weather before spring arrives. They trigger colder conditions in the UK on average two out of every three times they occur."

It is to be hoped that, in any repeat of 2018, Britain is more prepared.

The Beast from the East was responsible for 17 deaths five years ago, with the extreme conditions causing the Met Office to issue a red weather warning for many areas of the country, signifying a risk to life.

Heavy downpours of snow caused huge travel disruption with Scotland, Devon, Somerset and South Wales the worst-affected areas.


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