“Polar vortex disturbance” would plunge Britons into a deep freeze of up to -10 degrees Celsius that would last for months.
Spring could be postponed due to a “polar vortex disturbance” that threatens -10°C cold until April.
A new surprise stratospheric warming (SSW) event could plunge Britain into a prolonged period of cold weather, experts warn.
Strong southerly winds occur when winds high above the North Pole change direction, forcing cold air to head south, driving the infamous 2018 monster from the east.
While temperatures are expected to rise slightly after the weekend, the long-term forecast paints a bleak picture.
Temperatures are expected to drop as the month progresses
James Madden, forecaster at Exacta Weather, said: “Another major stratospheric warming surge (SSW) is underway and is likely to be confirmed in the coming days.
“It would not be out of the question to see the coldest parts of England reach -10°C or slightly colder in the coldest spells of weather over the next four to six weeks.
He added: “If confirmation occurs in the coming days as we expect, we could see a return to colder weather and the potential for more snowfall later next week and into the latter part of February.”
He said that a cold wave this late in the year would not be as strong as one in the middle of winter.
He added that the change in meteorological patterns may expose Britain to the risk of snowfall at the beginning of spring.
This comes at a time when temperatures in northern Britain are falling again, with parts of the country being subjected to waves of snow and ice warnings.
Met Office snow alerts remain in place across Scotland until the end of the week, as low pressure pulls moisture from the Atlantic into cold air over the UK.
The latest developments:
A sudden new stratospheric warming (SSW) event could plunge Britain into a prolonged period of cold weather
US National Weather Service
Next week’s battle between high pressure to the east and low pressure to the west heralds more unstable conditions.
High pressure will keep southern areas drier than the north, with widespread rainfall decreasing by mid-week.
However, easterly winds could blow on the North Sea coast, which could bring a risk of severe frost during the night.
The forecast through the last week of February calls for cooler than average temperatures in the north and east, with milder winds in the south.
A Met Office spokesman said: “Much of the UK will be under mostly dry conditions thanks to high pressure extending from mainland Europe, albeit with lower temperatures.
“However, milder and wetter weather from the Atlantic will always be close by, with this creeping in from the west at times.”
An SSW event was confirmed at the end of last year, raising fears of cold weather until the start of 2024.
The possibility of a second wave of sudden weather fluctuations is greater than ever, and could be stronger than the first, according to some experts.
“The polar vortex collapse event has now been confirmed by forecasts in mid-February,” said Andre Fleiss, of the European Severe Weather Organization.
“With stratospheric warming expected, we are currently seeing a rapid collapse of the polar vortex.
“This next event looks stronger than the first.”
While the long-term forecast calls for more cold weather, meteorologists insist the forecast will only be confirmed within five to 10 days.
However, opinions are beginning to settle on the risk of more snow and strong winds later this month.
Jim Dale, a meteorologist at the UK’s Met Office and social commentator, said: “There is every possibility that this cold snap will be prolonged as a battleground emerges between the Atlantic and the Arctic.”