Met Office responds to reports of heavy snow caused by 'Beast from the East'

The Met Office has responded to reports that the UK could face heavy snow in coming days due to a ‘Beast from the East’ bringing cold temperatures and treacherous weather.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 8:20 pm

The 'Beast from the East' is a phrase used to describe cold and wintry conditions in the UK as a result of a polar continental air mass.

It has been the reason behind past snowy weather and blizzards in the UK, including the particularly cold winter months of February and March in 2018.

When pressure is high over Scandinavia, the UK tends to experience a polar continental air mass.

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When this happens in winter, cold air is drawn in from the Eurasian landmass, bringing the wintry conditions that give rise to the 'Beast from the East'.

Reports last week claimed that the Beast from the East would make a return in 2020, however the Met Office has dismissed these.

Met Office meteorologist and press officer Bonnie Diamond said: “This week will be unsettled and on the mild side, with low pressure bringing spells of strong winds, heavy rain and slightly above average temperatures.”

Ms Diamond added: "Regarding the ‘Beast from the East’, there are currently no signs of this in the next seven days, with the predominant wind direction starting out as south-westerly then switching to north-westerlies later in the week.

"Beyond this there are some signs of high pressure bringing more settled weather and possibly a change in wind direction, however it is too early to give details at this stage.”