‘Beast From The Beast’ Brings Multi-Day Crippling Snow, Coldest March Day On Record for UK

The ‘big snow of 2018’, ‘blizzard of 2018’, ‘beast from the east 2018’, whatever label you attach to this week’s extreme winter weather, this is an event which will be remembered for a lifetime to come.

The incredible 20-40cm snowfall amounts which all but crippled much of Central Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland and Northern England came from a straight forward setup.

Just like ‘lake effect’ snow machine, with the right setup, we get ‘sea effect’ snow from the North Sea like Italy gets from the Adriatic and Japan from the Sea of Japan.

A bitter easterly which only contains moisture from bodies of water it passes over, picked up a tremendous amount of moisture over the North Sea. Siberian air of -10 to -20C air at 3-5,000ft over +4 to 6C water creates lift and this moisture rising into the cold dry air forms clouds which as they move inland, drop heavy, powdery snow.

Projected temperature at 850mb or 5,000ft over the North Sea was in the -15 to -20C range.

Credit: wxcharts.eu

On boats travelling between France, Low Countries and England it was -2 to 0C.

The sea surface temperature.

Gale-force easterly winds blowing within a vertically stacked column of sub-freezing air travelling over 3-6C water is perfect for convective instability shower cloud production. The persistence in this easterly meant the heavy ‘convective snow showers’ just kept on coming one after the other between Monday night all the way through today. 5 days!

Radar from yesterday shows nicely the east-west oriented instability snow streamers which while the east wind blew, so the showers kept on coming.

The straight easterly wind orientation was perfect for the Central Lowlands to get hammered. The geography of Scotland’s main population belt with mountains north and south of the main Glasgow to Edinburgh corridor allows the snow showers to pile in and through the natural gap that is the Central Lowlands, hence why a red warning was specifically through the Central Belt.

There’s also somewhat of a funnel effect between the Highlands to the north and Southern Uplands to the south with no mountains between the North Sea all the way to the Clyde Valley west of Glasgow.

The persistent nature of these wind-driven showers over a 48 to 72 hour period piling into Central and Eastern Scotland led to big amounts but the gusty winds have essentially laid to blocking off communities.

An amazing sight! A deserted M8 at the Kingston Bridge from the Scottish Power building yesterday.

Via Graham Fraser

Don’t think I’ve ever seen nearly an entire 3 lane motorway blocked by drifts.

This was the M90 south.

The mid February SSW and the Siberia blast which swept Europe to follow was the real deal.



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