London: The United Kingdom this week recorded its coldest February night across the country since February 1955, reported the UK Met office.
Informing about the harsh weather, the UK Met office tweeted, “We can now confirm that last night was the coldest February night across the UK since 23rd February 1955. That includes the infamous winter of 1962/1963 Snowflake. The #temperature in Braemar, Aberdeenshire fell to minus 23.0 °C at 08:13 this morning.”
This is the coldest February night for the UK in the last 66 years.
As per DW News Agency, the past week’s sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls across Europe is more than just a cold winter. They are made more likely by the collapse of the polar vortex — a huge ring of cold winds raging in the Earth’s stratosphere — at the North Pole.
The polar vortex is closely connected to the jet stream, a band of strong winds about 10 kilometers above the ground. At the polar front, this flows between warm air from the tropics and subtropics, and cold polar air. The pressure extremes that form in this transitional area at lower layers are sometimes referred to in weather reports as the Icelandic low or the Azores high, reported DW News Agency.
The jet stream usually determines the winter weather in Europe: if it is strong and flows from west to east, it brings mild, windy and rainy weather from the Atlantic, and holds the cold air from the Arctic.
But if the jet stream is weak and wavy, the polar vortex also weakens, and sometimes breaks down completely. The cold snap across Europe is the result of a weak jet stream — more precisely a dip — that has caused a strong and long-lasting collapse of the polar vortex, explained DW News Agency.