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Meteorologists keep an eye on the ‘beast from the east’ that will bring extreme cold for the December bridge


  • A stratospheric polar vortex is a belt of winds that circles the pole at high speed in the stratosphere.


  • The forecasts seem to point to the formation of a blockade in high latitudes, which can bring very cold to western Europe and heavy rain in Spain.


  • Next week temperatures will be warmer than usual

After this thermal slide that Spain is experiencing, a weekend with little cloudy skies is approaching, although a new front will arrive on Sunday that will leave rain in Galicia. “In general, the sun will shine throughout the territorybut fog is not ruled out in the interior, especially on the northern plateau where the atmosphere will be cold throughout the day,” they say from the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).

Some experts predict that the cold has arrived and a Bridge of the Immaculate Conception is expected with temperatures below zero in western Europe and a lot of rain in Spain. The weather websites indicate that the forecasts seem to point to the “formation of a blockade in high latitudes, centered between Scandinavia and Russia that could favor a corridor through which cold continental air could invade Europe, even affecting Spain”.

This image corresponds to next December 8, the second holiday of the bridge. But Rosalía Fernández, a Mediaset meteorologist, assures that “it is still too early and there is a lot of uncertainty.” Fernández explains what a polar vortex of these characteristics is. “Here we are talking about the stratospheric polar vortex. It is too high a latitude to give an accurate forecast. Every day, meteorologists talk about the troposphere to give forecasts, but it is true, that what happens in the highest layers make us be forewarned”, he explains.

This is also confirmed by Rubén del Campo, Aemet spokesman, who assures that a stratospheric polar vortex is a belt of winds that circles the pole at high speed in the stratosphere. Sometimes, in the lower layers, a sudden heating can occur that breaks that polar vortex. “This has immediate consequences, such as a cold wave, and, in the long term, it could leave heavy rains in southern Europe in general. Something that would help break the drought we are experiencing,” says del Campo.

The ‘Beast from the East’

Some meteorologists have already dubbed it as the ‘Beast from the East’. But what is it exactly. Well, in the next few days a powerful anticyclone may form over Russia that will favor stability in that area. This, coupled with a snow cover on the ground that is currently higher than normal for the dates will cause the air to cool even more in the lower layers of the atmosphere.

Models indicate that this anticyclone could expand into Scandinavia and, by its arrangement, it could displace the frozen Siberian mass towards the European continent. If so, at the beginning of December we could be facing the first cold entry of the northeast of the year, and it could also be intense.

Curiously, the atmospheric configuration is reminiscent of what happened in the winter of 1984-1985, which witnessed one of the coldest Januarys on record in Europe.

Colder in Western Europe

According to Fernandez, this structure has a different dislocation than the mass of cold air and, although it cannot be said that it will get colder, yes, that there is a better chance that it will be colder in western Europe and there may be more rain in our country.

From the Aemet they assert that, according to the configuration that the troposphere is taking “It is not ruled out that there is a break in the polar vortex. In the event that it happens, we will have to see how and which areas it would affect,” says Del Campo, who sees the forecast as too far away.

“For the bridge, it is too early, there are still 15 days to go.” With the forecast that is being handled at the moment It can be said that next week, from November 28 to December 4, it will be warmer than usual. As for the week of the Bridge of the Immaculate Conception, there is no clear sign, but it may be a little colder than normal in some areas of the northern half of the peninsula,” they conclude from Aemet.

The ‘Beast from the East’

In the next few days a powerful anticyclone may form over Russia that will favor stability in that area. This, coupled with a snow cover on the ground that is currently higher than normal for the dates will cause the air to cool even more in the lower layers of the atmosphere.

The models indicate that this anticyclone could expand towards Scandinavia and, due to its disposition, it could displace the icy Siberian mass towards the European continent. If so, at the beginning of December we could be facing the first cold entry of the northeast of the year, and it could also be intense.

Curiously, the atmospheric configuration is reminiscent of what happened in the winter of 1984-1985, which witnessed one of the coldest Januarys on record in Europe.

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