UK snow bomb 2023: what is weather term, where is it likely to hit, when is it coming - Met Office forecast

The UK is set to experience a heavy spell of snow which will rival the Beast from the East
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Wintry showers and a potential ‘snow bomb’ could hit the UK in March, say weather experts.

The severity of the cold snap could potentially rival the conditions the UK experienced during the Beast from the East in 2018 and the Big Freeze in 2010, according to weather experts.

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Further reports of bad weather are likely to be met with anxiety amid the cost of living crisis. A cold snap is likely to lead to more people switching their heating on, leading to an increase in household energy bills at a time where they are already at an historic high.

Cold conditions and icy weather have dominated this winter but what is a snow bomb and what have weather experts said during their forecast for March?

What is a snow bomb?

The word snow bomb is derived from the idea of a weather bomb which can cause violent winds and adverse weather conditions.

The Met Office defines a weather bomb as “an unofficial term for a low pressure system whose central pressure falls 24 millibars and in 24 hours in a process known as explosive cyclogenesis.

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“Rapid acceleration of air caused by the jet stream high up in the atmosphere can remove air from the column, reducing its weight, causing pressure to fall at sea level. This in turn sucks in air which converges from surrounding regions resulting in faster and faster rotation of the circulation.

“The resulting winds peak over a period of a few hours and can be strong enough to bring down trees and cause structural damage.”

A snow bomb is not a recognised meteorological term and it is not used by weather experts.

Is snow coming to the UK?

The Met Office states that there is an “increased probability” of “much colder” weather hitting the UK in the early stages of March due to the phenomenon of Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW).

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Aidan McGivern from the Met Office explains: “We are seeing a major Sudden Stratospheric Warming taking place above the North Pole and what that means is the winds in the stratosphere surrounding the North Pole are expected to reverse, instead of going from west to east they are going to go from east to west.”

The Met Office is expecting temperatures to drop in the coming weeks and the UK is most likely to experience snow between Wednesday 15 March and Wednesday 29 March.

The Met Office report states: “Late seasonal wintry showers are expected across the country as milder air becomes less likely to affect the UK. This may also bring some dry weather at times, especially in western regions.

“Rain and strong winds are likely in the south, rain turning heavy at times. Colder and drier conditions are expected in the north, with wintry showers and a risk of heavy snow at times.”

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