Met Offices snow experts give verdict on Beast from the East return fears

Recent wintry conditions have fuelled speculation about whether another "Beast from the East" is about to hit the UK, bringing with it heavy snow and icy temperatures.

Plenty of the white stuff was seen in Dartmoor, Devon and other parts of the southwest in the early hours of the morning (January 16), with downpours also reported in lower-lying areas.

A lengthy yellow Met Office warning for ice was in place across central and northern England, Northern Ireland and the south of Scotland until 10am.

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Meanwhile, a snow and ice warning covering northern Scotland is in place until 10am on Wednesday.

A yellow warning for snow had also been in place in the southeast until 8am on Monday, as rivers also burst their banks and people prepared for icy pavements.

The conditions did little to downplay rumours of an oncoming Beast from the East, but the Met Office has told the Daily Star that such fears are unfounded, especially since we're currently being battered from the North West.

Stephen Dixon, a Met Office Spokesperson, said: "2018 was very much snowier than this!"

"This isn’t the set-up for a Beast from the East as we have more of a northwesterly at the moment rather than anything from the east."

Anticyclone Hartmut, also known the Beast from the East, was a storm that began in early 2018, and brought a cold wave to Great Britain and Ireland – causing widespread unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall to large areas.

And while we are not yet headed for a repeat of such conditions, it will still be "a cold week for most with".

Mr Dixon continued: "It’s a cold week for most with a northwesterly airflow bringing cooler air and the risk of snow, especially for those in the north.

"Warnings have been issued, with a snow and ice warning for the north and west of Scotland highlighting the potential for in excess of 15cm of snow falling over high ground, and perhaps a couple of centimetres to lower levels.

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"This risk also extends to Northern Ireland and the north of Wales early this week, where high ground in these areas could see 10cm of snow in places, and accumulations of a couple of centimetres to lower levels."

This theme will continue for much of the week, the Met Office said, with cool air feeding into the UK from the northwest.

"In the latter half of the week there’s a chance of some snow showers on the eastern flank of the UK as a low pressure system moves gradually southeast," Mr Dixon added.

He also said that for many in central and southern areas there will still be a good deal of dry weather around this week, though it will still feel cold with a risk of some frosts and icy roads.

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