Judah Cohen @judah47 has just announced the following news: It’s official Stratospheric Major Warming and #PolarVortex split! Second in two years. Both PV splits under different phases of ENSO, MJO and QBO. What is the same? High October Eurasian #snow cover extent and low Barents-Kara sea ice concentration both years. Coincidence?
There have been many headlines in recent days proclaiming a return of the ‘Beast from the East’ and ‘triple polar vortex to trigger heavy snow’ with bookies reportedly cutting the odds that this month will end as the coldest January on record following a sudden stratospheric warming high above the Arctic.
So, just how much truth lies behind these headlines and what can we really say about the weather for the coming month? Our Deputy Chief Meteorologist Jason Kelly explains.
Well, it is true that a sudden stratospheric warming has happened. The warming started around 22 December 2018 and the winds at around 30km above the North Pole have now reversed from westerly to easterly. At ground level we know that sudden stratospheric warmings tend to weaken the UK’s prevailing mild westerly winds, increasing the chances of us seeing colder weather a couple of weeks after…
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