UK weather forecast: Britain faces new Beast from the East in what could be one of coldest winters in 30 years

First two months of 2020 could rank as seventh coldest in three decades, scientists say

Chiara Giordano
Monday 09 September 2019 07:35 BST
Britain faces new Beast from the East in what could be one of coldest winters in 30 years

Britain is facing a new Beast from the East in what could be one of the coldest winters in 30 years, climate experts say.

Researchers attempting to predict one of the longest-range UK weather forecasts say temperatures will be colder than normal during January and February 2020. The scientists forecast an average temperature of 3.9C for January to February 2020 in central England – which they say is 0.5C below the 1981-2010 average for the same period.

The team, led by Mark Saunders, professor of climate prediction at University College London, wrote in a paper: “This would rank 2020 January-February central England as the coldest winter since January-February 2013.

“It would also rank January-February 2020 as the seventh coldest winter in the last 30 years, and the 23rd coldest winter since 1953.”

“There is a 57 per cent chance the central England temperature will be colder than the 4.1C in 2018, thus making it the coldest January-February since 2013,” they added.

The scientists analysed sea temperatures and weather systems over the north Atlantic before reaching their predictions, The Sunday Times reports.

The Beast from the East brought widespread snow and ice last year, causing temperatures to plummet to -14C in the Cairngorms in Scotland. Seventeen people were killed because of the weather, including a seven-year-old girl.

The researchers measured changes in pressure and sunlight across the north Atlantic and the jet stream, which blows at 200mph six miles above.

They hope their extended forecast will help the UK anticipate the upcoming risk and plan ahead.

The coldest winter in three decades could follow closely on the heels of the highest-ever UK temperature, recorded as 38.7C at Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 25 July.

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Forecaster Craig Snell said the Met Office could only give a long-range forecast for autumn up to the end of November.

He told The Independent: “Next month it will start going into winter. The trends at the moment look like temperatures and rainfall as a whole will come out just above average. The average maximum temperature for the UK is about 12C and we expect about 325mm of rain.”

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