Friday, March 02, 2018
The "Beast From the East" - There's Your Problem, It's From the East.
It's been a week since an Arctic cold front out of Siberia reached Europe. Now, for those of you weak on geography, Siberia is the northeast of Russia, here:
In the temperate band of the northern hemisphere, our weather comes out of the west, carried by the aptly-named "westerlies."
The cold front that now grips most of Europe, however, came out of the east the entire length of Russia and then some. That's just weird. Combine that with the heat waves being recorded in the high Arctic and people are getting a titch worried.
Europe's weather usually approaches from the Atlantic, to the west, keeping conditions mostly temperate, but that pattern has temporarily reversed, bringing a frigid system from Asia that meteorologists named "the Beast from the East." Rome had its first snowfall in six years this week.
The cold weather in Britain and north-western Europe is to some extent a mirror image of the "sudden stratospheric warming" in the arctic, experts say, referring to a disturbance in the polar jet stream that has alarmed scientists and forced some to reconsider even the most pessimistic forecasts for climate change.
As warm air has surged into the Arctic, experts say, a return flow into Europe dropped average February temperatures there to among the coldest ever.
"These changes in the upper areas of the atmosphere over the North Pole then lead to the jet stream being pushed southward, which is what normally drives weather patterns in the UK and northwestern Europe," said Chloe Moore, a meteorologist for the Royal Meteorological Society in Reading, southern England.
"When we have this setup in winter, the winds then come from the east, and this brings a very cold air mass from Scandinavia and Northern Russia," she added.