Commuters in London and the South East are being encouraged to leave work promptly today (February 26th) due to the full force of an Arctic blast coming our way. The so-called ‘Beast from the East’ is expected to bring travel chaos with it from later this evening, making it advisable for people to be home by 6pm where possible.
Forecasters are expecting temperatures to drop as low as -15 degrees C and to be accompanied by up to eight inches of snow by Wednesday. A yellow alert weather warning has been put in place by the Met Office for the majority of the country over the next few days.
In London and the South East, however, this has been raised to amber, which stands for ‘be prepared’. Commuters tempted to stay late at the office should heed advice and make their way home while it’s still possible.
For Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s worth setting out for work being prepared for the conditions. As well as expecting journeys to take longer, it’s important to be dressed appropriately for the weather and with sensible footwear, even if this means changing when you get to the office.
Disruptions are likely to occur across rail and road services, as blizzards and winds of 45 miles per hour hit on Wednesday. Gritters will be working overtime to make roads passable, but everyone will have to be patient and adapt to the situation.
Charlie Powell from the Met Office said: “The UK is on track for some really cold weather. It's not going to be record-breaking, but it'll be pretty exceptional - winds are going to make it feel -10C to -15C during the day.
“Daytime temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday will be struggling to get above freezing. By Thursday evening, there are growing signs there could be some significant snowfall across southern England.
“Unusually for Britain, the snow is going to be quite dry, so it will blow around and gather in drifts and we could see some blizzard conditions. We don't want to scare people, but people should make sure they are prepared.”
Transport for London (TfL) has warned those travelling in the capital that they should check for disruptions before setting off. These could affect both Underground and Overground services, making the commute even more difficult.
The ‘Beast from the East’ is actually a polar vortex that has travelled southwards from the Arctic. It has swept over from Siberia and Russia, resulting in extraordinarily cold conditions.
Photo credit: iStock/_ultraforma_