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UK warned over rare polar phenomenon as freezing temperatures set to grip Britain

Callum Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

UK warned over rare polar phenomenon as freezing temperatures set to grip Britain

As the gloomy, cold month of January is behind us, many would have hoped that the freezing temperatures are close to coming to an end.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case as the UK is set to be gripped by freezing temperatures in the coming weeks.

In fact, parts of the UK could face snow and temperatures as low as minus 11C at the end of this February. Brr.

The freezing cold conditions are set to stretch over ten days, and also head into March.

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It all starts with gusty winds and rain from Friday (17 February) in the north, which will push into the south after the weekend.

Snow and freezing cold temperatures may grip the UK later this month. Credit: Kay Roxby / Alamy Stock Photo
Snow and freezing cold temperatures may grip the UK later this month. Credit: Kay Roxby / Alamy Stock Photo

These freezing cold conditions ahead are due to a rare polar phenomenon known as a 'Sudden Stratospheric Warming' (SSW).

An SSW was actually responsible for the infamous 'Beast from the East' storm from 2018, which saw as much as 22 inches of snow fall in some places and 17 fatalities.

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In a new blog post, the Met Office has issued a weather alert and explained what exactly the SSW means.

It read: "The latest forecasts are showing that a major SSW is now likely to take place.

"The recent minor SSW weakened the SPV and it’s now likely to collapse and reverse in the middle of February.

"A major SSW often makes the jet stream meander more, which can lead to a large area of blocking high pressure over northern Europe, including the UK.

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The rare polar phenomenon has been talked about by the Met Office. Credit: Rob Sutherland / Alamy Stock Photo
The rare polar phenomenon has been talked about by the Met Office. Credit: Rob Sutherland / Alamy Stock Photo

"This blocking high pressure can lead to cold, dry weather in the north of Europe, including the UK, with mild, wet and windy conditions more likely for southern areas of the continent.

"However, this is not always the case and impacts on UK weather can also be benign when an SSW occurs."

As all of us UK peeps are aware, the country has already been hit with a lot of freezing weather this winter.

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In December, the UK was hit with two weeks of freezing temperatures, while a subzero week also followed in the new year.

And it looks like a period of more freezing temperatures could definitely be on the cards, as a Met Office forecaster has said cold temperatures between 25 February and 11 March is a 'possibility'.

Featured Image Credit: Gerard Ferry / Shoults / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Weather, UK News

Callum Jones
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