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Beast from the East: When snow is on its way to your part of Cambridgeshire

A severe cold snap is set to blast Cambridgeshire with snow and ice for several weeks from this Sund..

By admin , in Cambridge , at February 22, 2018

A severe cold snap is set to blast Cambridgeshire with snow and ice for several weeks from this Sunday (February 25).

The lengthy cold spell is being attributed to a polar vortex hitting UK shores, with the first flurries of snow expected in the region from Monday morning (February 26).

Forecasters have warned the weather event, dubbed The Beast from the East, will halt warm air coming in from the Atlantic jet stream, allowing extremely chilly winds from Siberia to blast the country into well into March.

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Earlier this week a spokesman for the Met Office said Cambridgeshire could experience significant amounts of snow and bitterly cold weather before the start of spring.

The weather authority predicts lows of -7°C next week – but it could also turn out be much colder than first predicted.

Now some regional forecasters predict temperatures in the southeast could plummet to as low as -10C in the coming weeks.

The last time snow hit the the county it caused travel chaos on the roads.

When will the Beast from the East hit Cambridgeshire?

The snow will begin to fall in Cambridge from 9am on Monday morning (February 26), according to the Met Office.

A statement on the website reads: "It will become much colder into the weekend and beyond, with an increasing wind chill.

"Overnight frost becoming more severe, and an increasing risk of scattered snow showers on Monday."

Cambridge

Today in Cambridge temperatures will reach highs of 5°C, but the mercury is expected to dip significantly over the next few days.

On Sunday (February 25) temperatures will reach lows of – 6°C once the wind chill is taken into account.

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Monday (February 26) temperatures will dip further with lows of – 7°C, again with the wind chill being factored in.

Flurries of snow are predicted from 9am.

Mid week lows of -9°C are predicted.

Newmarket

Newmarket will see some of the worst of the snowy weather early on Monday (February 26).

The snow will begin to fall at 9am and last into the afternoon.

Today temperatures will reach highs of 5°C but it will get much colder by Monday morning.

On Sunday (February 25) temperatures will reach lows of – 7°C once the wind chill is taken into account.

On Monday (February 26) temperatures will dip further with lows of – 7°C with the wind chill factored in.

Mid week lows of -9°C are predicted.

The concierge at the Gonville Hotel braves the snow to take a picture for a passing couple (Image: Warren Gunn)

Haverhill

Haverhill will see the worst of the snowy weather early on Monday (February 26).

The snow will begin to fall at 3am and last into the afternoon.

Today temperatures will reach highs of 4°C but it will get much colder by Monday morning.

On Sunday (February 25) temperatures will reach lows of – 7°C once the wind chill is taken into account.

On Monday (February 26) temperatures will dip further with lows of -8°C once the wind chill is factored in.

Mid week lows of -10°C are predicted with the additional windchill.

A gritter lorry on the A14

Ely

Today in Ely temperatures will reach highs of 6°C, but again, it will get colder over the next few days.

On Sunday (February 25) temperatures will reach lows of – 7°C once the wind chill is taken into account.

Monday (February 26) temperatures will dip further with lows of – 6°C once the wind chill is taken into account.

Snow is not expected to reach Ely on Monday, but this may change.

Mid week lows of -9°C are predicted once wind chill is taken into account.

These frosty winter mornings are not much fun (Image: PavelRodimov)

What is causing the bad weather?

Forecasters blame the looming icy blast on a dramatic rise in air temperature, known as Sudden Stratospheric Warming, at around 30km above the North Pole​.

This rare event is set to draw bitter weather from Siberia – giving rise to the name 'the Beast from the East'.

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This warming results from a breakdown of the usual high-altitude westerly winds and often leads to a switch in weather conditions with a cold easterly blast more likely to dominate subsequent UK weather​ instead of the usual Atlantic flow.

There tends to be a delay of about 10 days before effects of the Polar split are noticed because it takes time for the influence in the upper atmosphere to feed down to lower levels.

What is a Sudden Stratospheric Warming?

Leave time to de-ice the car tomorrow morning

An SSW event occurs when that mass of cold Arctic air, known as a polar vortex, expands and gets pushed south, carried along with the jet stream.

Forecaster Dr Dave Reynolds, of The Weather Channel, said the mass of polar air was set to expand and possibly drag bitter air towards the UK.

He explained: “The process of vortex splitting is accompanied by sudden stratospheric warming, whereby temperatures in the stratosphere rise.

“This warming can then extend downwards through the depth of the atmosphere and result in an increased risk of blocking, which in winter-time raises the chance of widespread cold conditions developing.”

This ​prevents milder conditions from the west heading across the Atlantic allowing colder air to dominate. However, there’s no guarantee Europe will see increased cold.

“To go from vortex splitting and sudden stratospheric warming to a blocked pattern won’t occur overnight, it’s a process that can actually take some 10 days to three weeks.”

The forecaster said computer models indicated a cold, blocked pattern over Scandinavia for the last week of February and first week of March, reinforced by a possible polar vortex split and accompanying stratospheric warming.

The mercury will start to dip ​from midweek, but colder weather will be felt in all areas ​by Sunday ​with values struggling around freezing as a raw wind tears across the country.

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