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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Met Office responds to Beast from the East rumours

The Met Office has responded to rumours that a Beast from the East would bring “sub zero” temperatures and snow.

National newspapers had reported that four inches of snow could be on the way to the UK. However the forecaster has rejected the claims.

In a post on social media, the Met Office wrote: “ You might have seen some reporting recently about the chances of #snow and a ‘Beast from the East’. Here’s our #FactCheck.

“Temperatures will drop towards average for the time of the year next week. Any snow is most likely to fall on the tops of the mountains in Scotland, as is usual for the time of the year.”

Rumours of a Beast from the East had been sparked by Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, who said it could be “opening its eyes once again”, Yorkshire Live reports. Here is all you need to know:

What is the Met Office forecast for the UK?

In its long range forecast from Wednesday (30 November) to 9 December, the Met Office says: “On Wednesday, areas of low cloud are expected across most parts of the UK, with rain remaining in the far west.

“Over the following few days, some light showers will arrive from the east; these are likely to be wintery over hills and mountains. For the rest of the period, drier conditions are more likely to continue for most of the UK.

“Any unsettled weather is mostly likely across the far west and northwest, in the form of rain or showers and potentially some stronger winds. Temperatures are likely to be around normal or falling slightly below normal in early December, and it should feel colder in any breezier periods.

“If unsettled weather does return to the northwest, temperatures may recover to normal here.”

Beast from the East in 2018. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Yellow weather warnings are in place for heavy rain for parts of Scotland, Wales and southern England over the weekend. The Met Office warns heavy rain may lead to some flooding and disruption to travel.

Further down the line, in the run up to Christmas the Met Office is forecast: “Confidence remains low for this period. Conditions are expected to be more settled than of late, with the potential for high pressure to be located close to the UK, at least at first.

“With time, however, we may see a return to frontal systems moving in from the west, with drier interludes between. Whilst temperatures may average out close to normal overall, colder conditions are possible at times, with a risk of overnight frost and fog.”

What was the Beast from the East?

The weather phenomenon in February 2018 brought a spell of heavy snow and freezing conditions to the British isles. It was dubbed the Beast from the East by much of the press.

It was caused by Anticyclone Hartmut and resulted in temperatures as cold as -14C in places. Heavy snowfall resulted in over £1bn worth of damage in the UK and Ireland.

A total of 92 people died during the Beast from the East across Europe, with 17 fatalities happening in the UK. It was followed by a “mini Beast from the East” in March 2018.

During the Beast from the East red weather warnings for snow were issued by the Met Office. The warnings meant there was a potential risk to life.



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