2018 Great Britain and Ireland cold wave

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2018 Great Britain and Ireland cold wave
Hartmut Feb27.png
Satellite view showing Europe, including Great Britain and Ireland partially covered in snow under the influence of the strong cold wave on 27 February 2018
TypeWinter storm,anticyclone
Formed24 February 2018
Dissipated19 March 2018
Fatalities17 (UK)
77 (Continental Europe) [1]
Areas affectedGreat Britain and Ireland

Beginning on 24 February 2018, Great Britain and Ireland were affected by a cold wave, dubbed the Beast from the East by the media, which brought widespread unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall to large areas. The cold wave combined with Storm Emma, part of the 2017–18 UK and Ireland windstorm season, which made landfall in southwest England and southern Ireland on 2 March.

In contrast to usual winter storms, Emma was not formed as a normal low pressure area along with the jetstream; the initial event was an arctic outbreak due to a disordered polar vortex into Central Europe, transporting not only cold air from Siberia to Europe, but on the way to the British Islands according to the lake effect sent a lot of snow into areas of Great Britain and Ireland.

This weather situation repeated itself on the weekend of 17 and 18 March, but was less severe than on the previous occasion due to the onset of spring. This briefer cold snap was given the name "Mini Beast from the East".

Beast from the East[edit]

The cold spell nicknamed the Beast from the East was caused by a large arctic airmass with anticyclonic structure, stretching from the Russian Far East to the British Isles covering large parts of Asia and almost all of Europe. The anticyclone, centered over Scandinavia,[2] is the dominant high pressure area in the weather system and represents its European part. North Asia was covered by other anticyclones that belong to that giant arctic airmass. The anticyclone brought cold easterly winds into Europe and the British Isles leading to snowfall and sub-zero temperatures as result of freezing air from Siberia.[3][4] Ireland was predicted to experience its worst winter for at least 30 years.[5][6] In the United Kingdom the Met Office issued a red snow warning, meaning a potential risk to life.[7]

The anticyclone, nicknamed 'Hartmut' was such an intense high pressure system that it evolved into an anticyclonic storm. A gust of 187 km/h was registered in the Øvre Dividal National Park in Norway, relatively near to the anticyclonic centre.[8] Other hurricane-force gusts delivered by Hartmut were registered across Europe, particularly over Scandinavia and the British Isles. Such hurricane-force anticyclonic storms are not extremely rare, but occur less often than cyclonic storms of similar intensity.

16 weather-related deaths include that of a seven-year-old girl in Looe, Cornwall Thursday 1 March, when she was hit by a car that slid on ice into a bungalow. On Wednesday 28 February, Stephen Cavanagh, 60, died after trying to save his dog from a lake in Welling, South East London. Also on Wednesday, a 46-year-old man died in a crash and a 75-year-old woman was found dead underneath her car in Farsley. A carer from Glasgow died on her way to work and a 52-year-old homeless man was found dead freezing inside his tent. On Tuesday, 27 February, four people died in two separate weather related crashes. A 20-year-old also died after slipping and falling whilst crossing a bridge in Haddington, East Lothian. This followed the death of a man trying to help another driver in the snowy conditions in Bergh Apton, Norfolk who suffered a heart attack. A 70-year-old also died after being rescued from icy cliffs in Torquay.

"Beast from the East" cold wave fatalities
Country Fatalities Notes
Poland 27[9]


UK 17[13][11][14][15]


Due to mixed effects of Storm Emma and the cold wave.[17][16]
Slovakia 7[11][18]
France 7[9][10][11][12][12][19]
Czech Republic 6[20]
Romania 6[21][22][9][18][10][21][21][12][21][12][12]
Lithuania 5[10]
Spain 3[10]
Serbia 3[18][20][10][23]
Slovenia 3[18][20][10][23]
Italy 3[10]
Sweden 1[24][8]
The Netherlands 1[10]
Germany 1[10]
Denmark 1[20][10]
Bosnia-Herzegovina 1[18][23][23]
Croatia 1[18][23]
Albania 1[18][19][25] [19]
Bulgaria 1[18]
Total 95

Storm Emma[edit]

Storm Emma brought chaos with heavy snow and strong winds to Southern Ireland, South West England and Southern Wales on the 2–3 March 2018 with up to 50 cm of snow in some elevated areas.[26] High winds brought disruption to other parts of Great Britain and Ireland. It also brought rail disruption as several trains became stranded, full of passengers, for up to 14 hours.[27]

Mini Beast from the East[edit]

Following a brief spell of warmer weather, a fresh cold snap nicknamed the "Mini Beast from the East" was forecast to bring another covering of snow on the weekend of 17 and 18 March. However, due to the onset of spring, and a higher sun position, it was forecast that the effect would be less severe than on the previous occasion, as the ground was warmer than before so the snow would melt more quickly.[28][29]

Snow showers began to affect parts of Britain and Ireland on 17 March, with north-east England, the North Midlands, and parts of southern England experiencing the heaviest snowfall. The snow was accompanied by strong winds, forecast to be as high as 70mph, and the Met Office issued an amber weather warning effective from the afternoon of 17 March.[30] Snow showers continued to affect parts of the UK and Ireland on 18 March, with South West England the most severely affected. The adverse weather conditions forced the cancellation of some sporting events, including the Reading Half Marathon, while Ireland's rugby union team, who had won the 2018 Six Nations Championship, cancelled their homecoming "due to heavy snowfall" with no new date confirmed.[31]


  1. ^ "Families told 'evacuate now' as storm brings intense flooding". 3 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  2. ^ http://www.met.fu-berlin.de/de/wetter/maps/Analyse_20180228.gif
  3. ^ Greenfield, Patrick (2018-02-26). "UK braces for 'beast from the east' as Met Office warns of snow". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  4. ^ Greenfield, Patrick; Rawlinson, Kevin (2018-02-23). "Siberian blast could make southern England colder than the Arctic". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-28. ...Freezing air from Siberia...
  5. ^ Thorne, Peter (2018-02-26). "Q&A: What is causing these severe snow warnings?". the Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-02-28. There have been many worse winters in the past, but not in the last 30 years. Met Éireann have a good compendium of historical events available at www.met.ie. ... Peter Thorne is Professor in Physical Geography (Climate Change) at NUI Maynooth and Director of the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Unit group (Icarus)
  6. ^ LeCouer, Jack (2018-02-26). "Be Ready As Beast Set To Bite". Nova.ie. Retrieved 2018-02-28. Evelyn Cusack from Met Éireann says the winds coming from Siberia will mean it’s exceptionally cold, and said it’s been more than 30 years since we’ve seen this kind of weather: “I’m not saying that it’s going to be as bad, maybe it’ll be worst.”
  7. ^ "UK weather: Snow causing widespread travel disruption". BBC News. BBC. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Messwerte vom 28.02.2018, 07:00 Uhr – Troms". Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Deadly storm dubbed 'Beast from the East' pounds Europe". 27 February 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e "AFP.com". AFP.com.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Deadly storm dubbed 'Beast from the East' pounds Europe". 27 February 2018.
  13. ^ Duggan, Joe (2 March 2018). "Forty cars involved in huge pile-up as Brits battle home in treacherous weather".
  14. ^ News, ABC. "ABC News". ABC News.
  15. ^ "Ice-Proofing Pays Off as Heathrow Endures Rare London Blizzard". 1 March 2018 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  16. ^ a b c "Body found in canal in search for Manchester teen who vanished in cold weather". 3 March 2018.
  17. ^ a b Sales, Dan (2018-03-03). "UK weather sparks warnings to 'evacuate now' despite dangerous roads as Storm Emma brings deadly flooding and freezing rain". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h [1][dead link]
  19. ^ a b c http://amp.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article202314409.html
  20. ^ a b c d "The Latest: Cold weather kills mean in Slovenia, Serbia". 28 February 2018.
  21. ^ a b c d "Two killed as 'Beast from the East' paralyses Europe". 28 February 2018.
  22. ^ "'Beast from the East' causes death, disruption in Europe".
  23. ^ a b c d e "Deadly storm dubbed 'Beast from the East' pounds Europe – Today World News Online". todayworldnewsonline.com.
  24. ^ "Record-setting cold weather continues to grip Europe". Anadolu Agency.
  25. ^ http://amp.miamiherald.com/news/business/article202123994.html
  26. ^ "Storm Emma to bring up to 50cm of snow". 2 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  27. ^ "What's it like to spend 14 hours stuck on trains?". BBC News. 2018-03-02. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  28. ^ "'Mini Beast from the East' brings fresh snow warnings". BBC. 2018-03-16. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  29. ^ "UK weather: 'Mini Beast from the East' set to grip Britain as Met Office extends weekend snow and ice warnings". The Telegraph. 2018-03-16. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  30. ^ "Snow and ice sweep across parts of UK". 17 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  31. ^ "Travel warnings as snow and ice hit UK". 18 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.