The looming Brexit Winter could become so cold, it could herald a return from ‘The Beast from the East’, climate forecasters have warned.
Scientists at University College in London have studied the movement of the jetstream, the high ribbon of cloud in the atmosphere which effectively determines our weather.
They have concluded that the Jetstream will plunge south next January and February, just as the country adjusts to life outside the EU.
This would have the effect of drawing down freezing weather from the Arctic, resulting in potentially the coldest winter for 30 years.
Researchers also believe it could see a return of “The Beast From the East” the set of circumstances which occurred in February and March 2018, when the country was crippled by heavy snowfall.
The team, led by UCL professor of climate prediction Mark Saunders, have analysed the sea temperatures and air pressures over the North Atlantic.
In doing so, hey have tried to predict the likely weather more than four months from now, making it one of the longest-range UK weather forecasts ever attempted.
Professor Saunders’ paper states:“This would rank the 2020 January - February central England temperature as the coldest winter since 2013.
“It would also rank January - February 2020 as the seventh coldest winter in the past 30 years.”
The team has published the research to set a marker for its forecast and to see if it really is possible to predict weather so far in advance.
It adds:“There is a 57% chance the central England temperature will be colder than in 2018, thus making it the coldest January-February since 2013.”
The forecast came from studying the jet stream, which blows west to east at up to 200mph, six miles above the north Atlantic. It marks the boundary between cold Arctic air to the north and wetter, warmer conditions to the south. It means that, if the jet stream meanders south in winter, then Britain freezes.
In the research, Saunders and fellow UCL researcher Adam Lea suggest the jet stream’s meanderings can now be predicted months ahead by measuring changes in pressure and sunlight across the north Atlantic.
Such a freezing winter would follow a year in which a temperature of 38.7C was recorded at Cambridge University Botanic Garden on July 25, the highest yet on record in the UK.
The Met Office say their predictions for the weather stretch no further than November, so are unwilling to comment on the University’s findings.
Met Office spokesman Craig Snell sad:”Seasonal forecasting is a relatively-new element of forecasting science.
“We believe it is way too early to say what is going to happen in the winter months.
“Even forecasting events for a couple of weeks can be a bit of a challenge. We generally concentrate on the next five days, which we are really good at.”
This week will see the remnants of Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Gabrielle cross the Atlantic towards us.
But while this will result in rain and strong winds, Mr Snell said conditions are likely to be unremarkable for this time of year.