Sudden Stratospheric Warming event which caused 'Beast from the East' storm to hit Ireland this month
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Sudden Stratospheric Warming event which caused 'Beast from the East' storm to hit Ireland this month

THE WEATHER phenomenon which saw Ireland covered in several feet of snow three years ago is to hit the country again this month.

Met Éireann has forecast a 'Sudden Stratospheric Warming' for early January following several days of scattered snow and freezing temperatures.

The SSW is the same phenomenon which, in 2018, saw the country shut down for several days as Storm Emma and the SSW combined to bring the 'Beast from the East'-- a major snowstorm.

The three days of snow was enjoyed by many at the time, but with people already staying indoors, working from home and not meeting others, a housebound-causing blizzard may not be so welcome this time around.

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Irish Army cadets shovelling snow from outside residents' homes in Newbridge, Co. Kildare during the Beast from the East in 2018 (Image: RollingNews.ie)

Thankfully, Met Éireann has said the Sudden Stratospheric Warming does not necessarily mean another snow storm, as each event is different.

The national broadcaster took to Twitter to explain what the upcoming weather event could mean for Ireland, writing:

"A Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) is forecast for early January 2021.

"It is uncertain how this will affect our weather in the coming weeks as Ireland is already in a very blocked pressure setup.

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They continued: "Every SSW is different, and less than half of them lead to colder conditions in Ireland. E.g. the SSW in February 2018 led to the ‘beast from the east’ and Storm Emma, whereas the SSW in Jan 2019 had no significant impact here."

Ireland is already bracing for a further cold snap in the coming days, with a Status Yellow Low Temperature and Ice warning issued for all of Connacht and Ulster, as well as Longford and Clare.

You can read more about the upcoming Sudden Stratospheric Warming on the Met Éireann website here.