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UK braced for polar vortex ‘snow bomb’ as weather takes a turn

UK braced for polar vortex ‘snow bomb’ as weather takes a turn

There might be more than just a little bit of snow on the horizon this winter.

Every winter there's the age-old question that every Brit asks: "Do you think we'll get any snow this year?"

Despite having a cold snap in late November-to-early December of 2023, it's been a fairly snow-free year here in the UK.

Mind you, we've had quite the beating from the likes of Storm Pia, which provided turbulent winds across Britain.

And winds from the more recent Storm Gerrit even got so treacherous that they caused severe damage to homes in Stalybridge, Manchester this week, in what's being described as a 'mini hurricane'.

Though we've missed our chances of a white Christmas this year, come January 2024, the Met Office has warned a 'greater than normal' risk of snow.

Though it's unsure yet whether this 'sudden stratospheric warming' (SSW) could send the UK into a lengthy period of cold weather like 2018's 'Beast from the East'.

The extreme cold weather is likely to be caused by a change in wind patterns in the atmosphere, forecasting a 'snow bomb' across the country due to an incoming polar vortex.

The UK could soon be in for some very cold weather.

A polar vortex is a circulation of winds, around 30 miles above the earth. These winds can often exceed 155 miles per hour, meaning they're as strong as the strongest hurricanes (Category 5).

However, in winter, the strength of these winds can weaken causing an influence on the weather that we experience.

Meteorologists believe that the intense cold spell could see snow cover parts of the country for the first half of January.

Professor Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, said to Sky News: "When you get an SSW it increases the likelihood of a prolonged cold spell across Northern Europe, like the Beast from the East.

"It could impact the UK, it has the potential to, but I wouldn't like to say it's likely to."

Those living in rural Scotland and the north of England are expected to be affected the most.

It's the same kind of weather that caused 2018's Beast from the East.

So, when could all this crazy weather start?

Well, the Met Office told LADbible: "It's too early to tell if there will be a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event. Forecast models suggest a much weakened polar vortex over the coming weeks, but at the moment it's not clear if this will result in an SSW or exactly how this will influence the UK's weather patterns at this range."

They continued: "UK weather predominantly comes from the west – with a flow of relatively mild air coming in off the Atlantic, however, if an SSW does occur it often alters our weather patterns, ‘blocking’ the flow of mild Atlantic air and at times it can bring much colder air from the east.

"However, how cold it might get depends on exactly where the flow of source air originates from and SSWs do not by any means always result in a cold spell other global drivers continue to influence the UK weather along with the background of a warming climate."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: UK News, Weather