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The Weather That Brought Us The Beast From The East Might Be Coming Back

The Weather That Brought Us The Beast From The East Might Be Coming Back

The weather event that resulted in the "Beast from the East" of 2018 might be about to return, according to forecasters.

Mike Wood

Mike Wood

What a time it was to be alive. Free, not a care in the world, just an apocalyptic snowstorm and a load of laughs. It's strange to think of the Beast from the East as the halcyon days of an Irish winter, but compared to now, it looks amazing. Well, guess what? It's coming back.

Back in 2018, we were barracked by the biggest storm in years: referred to in the media as The Beast From The East but known to its Ma as Anticyclone Hartmut, a form of polar vortex that changed the direction of our regular wind patterns and lead to the dumping of piles and piles of snow across Ireland and the UK.

Typically, our weather comes from the Gulf Stream, to the west, which as anyone with a Junior Cert in Geography knows, is what keeps our climate wet but generally uninteresting. Occasionally, however, the weather comes from the other side, meaning that it began life in Siberia. That, according to weather forecasters, is what we might be in for in the coming weeks.


"A Sudden Stratospheric Warming event looks more likely now. As usual what impact this will have on our weather remains to be seen," said Alan O'Reilly of Carlow Weather. "It is worth noting that most SSW events did NOT result in a cold spell for us and some of coldest winter events happened with NO SSW."

A Sudden Stratospheric Warning is related to shifts that occur 10-50km into the stratosphere and, two thirds of the time, result in extreme cold weather around two weeks later. Whether it affects us or not is dependant on where the area of high pressure that results is in relation to Ireland: in 2018, during the Beast from the East, it centred on Scandinavia and thus massively affected us here.

Whatever happens in two weeks or so, we're sure to have plenty of practice dealing with it by then, as snow is forecast for most of the rest of the week. We'll see temperatures as low as -3 degrees Celsius this week, with the potential for snowfall on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

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Topics: Ireland