Second Beast from the East ‘to batter Britain’ in New Year polar vortex
28th December 2018

A second Beast from the East could smash into Britain this week as a polar vortex from Scandinavia is forecast to hit for the New Year.

The Met Office are warning of snow hitting parts of the country as we move into January – with dense fog possibly causing chaos for travellers across this weekend.

A yellow weather warning for fog is already in place across London, south-east and south-west England and went into effect from 5pm yesterday -predicting to last until later this morning.

Now forecasters are warning of icy blasts smashing into the UK this January thanks to a phenomenon called "Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW).

SSW refers to a swift jump in temperatures in the stratosphere and is often linked to the onset of cold weather in winter.

The drop in temperatures could bring about a second Beast from the East – with the first hitting the UK in February this year, bringing freezing temperatures and thick snow to much of the country.

Jeff Knight, Met Office manager of modelling climate variability said: "There is a very high likelihood of a ‘Sudden Stratospheric Warming’ around the end of the year, increasing the chances of colder-than-average weather in January and the rest of winter.

"We will keep looking at forecasts to know exactly when any potential cold, snowy spells will occur."

Drivers are being warned about thick fog arriving for the weekend, causing possible disruption to public transport – including flights.

Met Office meteorologist Emma Smith said there will be "dense patches of fog that will form quite quickly" which "could lead to some dangerous driving conditions".

She said that temperatures could drop to as low as minus 1C in the South West, with the freezing conditions a cause of the fog blanket.

"The fog could cause some slower driving conditions, journey delays to buses and train services, and there is a chance of some delays to flights as well," she added.

Ms Smith said the weather will be quite cloudy across much of the UK, with the sunniest conditions across Scotland.

"Temperatures will be in double digits for most places, Scotland and Northern Ireland 10C, 9C across the north of England, 11C in the Midlands, and similar in the south," she added.

"It is quite mild for the time of year, tomorrow night temperatures widely are around 7C to 8C and that is what it should be in the daytime at this time of year."

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