A polar vortex is coming, and it could potentially bring with it some of the coldest weather we’ve experienced in years.
Widespread snow, ice and plummeting temperatures as low as -14C could become a startling reality over the next three months.
Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office Hadley Centre, explains: “The risk of a cold start to winter has increased to 30% this year. Statistically, however, it is still more likely that the UK will experience a normal start to winter, but there is an increased risk of cold snaps between now and Christmas.”
So what’s causing this increased likelihood of a freezing Christmas? Prof Scaife explains: “Several factors, including tropical rainfall, are known to drive UK and European winter conditions.”
In addition to this the Met Office has noticed that the Polar Vortex, strong freezing winds which circle the Arctic, is particularly weak at the moment.
The weaker it gets the higher chance there is of it breaking apart and travelling south, a phenomenon that can cause phenomenal temperature drops around the affected area.
In early 2014 the U.S. experienced such a phenomenon on a vast scale causing many of the northern states to experience minus temperatures well into the double digits.
The Met office has reportedly briefed the government and the NHS has started issuing advice to those over-65 in an effort to help prepare for the cold spell.
Incredibly, just a single degree drop in temperature below 5C sees a 10 per cent rise in the number of pensioners seeking help from their GP.