UK

UK Weather: Met Office Polar Vortex Forecast Could Mean Snow At Easter

How does -8C grab you?

07/03/2017 13:19 GMT | Updated 08/03/2017 09:24 GMT

Easter could be egg-ceptionally cold this year, with temperatures set to plummet as low as a chilly -8C.

A three-month Met Office outlook supplied so that councils, emergency and transport hubs can prepare for inclement conditions, warns of the possibility of a polar vortex and snow in late March and April.

It also advises of the chance of a “sudden stratospheric polar warming (SSW) event… increasing the chances of cold and dry conditions during that period.” Easter Sunday falls on 16 April.

Ekspansio via Getty Images
We could be heading for a white Easter this year 

In fact, forecasters say it is more likely to snow at Easter than it is at Christmas. The later the Easter, the better the weather is likely to be.

SSW occurs when air high over the North Pole warms and pushes colder Arctic temperatures down towards Britain, leading to a plunge in temperatures for up to two weeks.

SSW has given periods of temperatures as low as -18C in recent years, including -18.4C in the Highlands in Scotland in February 2009.

But by May the intense cold will make way for warmer weather, with forecasters suggesting: “Overall there is an increased chance of above-normal temperatures.” Some of the more optimistic estimates put this at a sizzling 26C.

The warmest Easter Sunday on record occurred on 23 April 2011, where temperatures reached 27.8C at Wisley in Surrey.

Easter in 1983 was the snowiest, with Scotland, the Midlands and Kent getting up to 10cm of snow.