El Nino warning: 'Significant disruption to polar vortex' risks huge weather impact in March

Map showing the polar belt
A disruption to the Polar Vortex could lead to a huge weather impact next March
WX Charts
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 22/02/2024

- 13:26

El Nino is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean

Britons should prepare themselves for an unpredictable March, as a “significant disruption to Polar Vortex” due to a warming of the Pacific which could result in “chaotic events”.

El Nino, an unusual warming of the eastern Pacific, is set to rock weather patterns as Spring rears its head in the UK.

The climate pattern has been battering the Stratospheric Polar Vortex, a seasonal belt of strong westerly winds at 10-40km that blow around the North Pole, according to WX Charts, with data provided by the MetDesk.

As a result, “chaotic events” are anticipated as rising temperatures and strong winds combine, resulting in a March that has been likened to being as unpredictable as “Jekyll & Hyde”.

Jim Dale, a Senior Meteorologist at British Weather Services, told GB News that disruption to weather patterns could happen next month.

He said: “March can be a very Jekyll & Hyde month and wintry spells often do strike, especially in the north.”

Dale accounted for the unpredictability of the El Nino impacting the Polar Vortex: “The polar vortex dislocation and where that polar air ends up around the globe is however a bit of a lottery.”

Whilst he said it was too early to spot anything noticeable for the first seven days of the month, a “short-lived polar spikes is entirely possible”.


The meteorologist said that due to climate change, “chaotic events are becoming part of the overall equation more than they ever were and it includes this type of event, as well as sudden record-breaking heat”.

WX Charts has said that this sudden stratospheric warming is arriving notably late in the season.

They also noted that the event in March will be felt more widely than a similar event that occurred in February.

The warning comes after a mild February, with temperatures 4C above the average across much of England, though slightly less so in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Flooding in Walton

The River Dene in Walton, Warwickshire, experienced some flooding last weekend


However, despite the balmy weather, the UK has also been rocked with heavy rain, leading to flooding in some parts of the country.

Some parts of the country are believed to have been hit by as much as 40mm of rain last weekend.

Rivers such as the River Dene in Walton, Warwickshire, flooded due to the intense downpour.

A pub in Somerset was submerged in knee-high floodwater, with staff at The George Inn in Croscombe having to wade through the murky water.

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