Sudden Stratospheric Warming…
Heard of it before? Well dont worry if not because its likely everyone will be talking about it over the next few days.
First and foremost lets take a look at what Sudden Stratospheric Warming actually is…
‘A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is an event where the polar vortex of westerly winds in the Northern hemisphere slows down or even reverses direction over the course of a few days. The change is accompanied by a rise of stratospheric temperature by several tens of kelvins.’
So what does that mean for the UK?
This is of course the most important part.
Generally speaking the UK will see Westerly winds bringing in mildish air during the winter months which keeps snowfall and freezing temperatures at bay.
However an ‘SSW’ event results in Westerly winds being replaced by Easterly/ North Easterly winds as high pressure is able to take a firm hold over higher latitudes.
This does not always guarentee the colder air will land smack bang over the UK but increases the chances of this happening.
So on the back of this expected ‘SSW’ event the latest model outputs have been throwing up some very cold prospects for the UK.
Over the course of the coming days the exact weather we are likely to see should firm up so we can pinpoint how cold and which areas are at greatest risk of snowfall.
So if you had started to look forward to an early spring & warmer temperatures im afraid you may have to wait just a bit longer.