THE COLDEST WINTER ON RECORD – PERHAPS
THIS year’s winter could be one of the coldest on record – at least, that’s according to one longrange weather forecaster. The meteorologist predicts the cold snap could surpass even the Beast from the East, which caused disruption between February and March this year.
Forecaster Exacta Weather says that a freezing assault could begin as early as November, followed by a four-month period of ice and snow.
The Mirror reported that Exacta Weather’s prediction is based on “supercharged” low-pressure systems.
It claims credit for predicting early in the summer that it would be one of the hottest ever on record.
However the forecast for a freezing start to winter has been questioned by the Met Office, which says its models suggest autumn temperatures are likely to rise.
It questions the reliability of long-range forecasts, which only give an indication of what may happen.
Exacta Weather says this winter could be one of the coldest in recent years with freezing winds, buckets of snow and minus temperatures all a possibility throughout the season.
It says that the big freeze will be driven by changes to the Jet Stream – a band of warm ocean air – combined with a drop in solar activity.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said the chilly weather could start to take effect from the second half of October.
It may mean a white Christmas but he warns there could be more misery in the new year with snowfall expected in January and beyond.
He said: “All our long-range projections have been showing for quite some time that December is likely to be a colder than average month overall and we are expecting several widespread snowy periods.
“This year we are expecting potentially hazardous winter conditions from early in the season.”
Cooler temperatures could be caused by a period of low solar activity which may throw the jet stream of warm air, that gives us our mild climate, out of kilter and cause a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW), he explained.
A spokesman for the UK Met Office said: “El Nino years are one factor that can increase the risk of colder winters in the UK.”
Temperatures in February last year were 1.3C below average thanks to the freak weather system.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes is offering 10/1 on thermometers touching -15C this winter with 12/1 on snow during the 12 days of Christmas, 4/1 on a White Christmas, 5/2 on snowfall during November and 7/2 on the coldest winter on record.
Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said precise predictions can only sensibly be made weeks or perhaps a couple of months ahead at most.
She said the likelihood of a colder than average autumn was about 5%, and the likelihood of a warmer than average autumn was around 40%.