Last month’s split in the Polar Vortex caused two distinct sections of the typically-persistent low-pressure zone to push south; one into western North America, and the other into northern Siberia. In North America, this resulted in a massive cold snap on the west coast, while the east experienced above-average temperatures. These effects were tame compared to the havoc cased by the Vortex’s eastern counterpart: the Eastern Hemisphere’s Arctic outbreak caused temperatures to plummet across the continent, causing a massive storm that has been likened to the event depicted in "The Day After Tomorrow", the 2004 movie based on Art Bell and Whitley Strieber’s 1999 book, "The Coming Global Superstorm".
Centered over northern Siberia, the node that descended into the Eastern Hemisphere brought below normal temperatures to Europe, forming a high-pressure weather pattern stretching from the Russian Far East to the British Islands. Nicknamed "The Beast from the East", it formed an anticyclonic storm, an unusual storm that rotates clockwise, in opposition to the normal counter-clockwise rotation that Northern Hemisphere storms follow. This weather pattern brought wind gusts of 187 km/h 116 mph) to parts of Norway, temperatures of -24ºC (-11ºF) to Lithuania, and Snowstorm Emma to Great Britain and Ireland, dumping 50 centimeters (20 inches) of snow on some parts of the UK, bringing the unprepared islands to a standstill.
Presaged by the anonymous individual described by Whitley in 2001’s "The Key", the Master of the Key’s prediction of a massive storm descending from the Arctic led to the publication of "The Coming Global Superstorm", warning of the dangers presented by the climatic chaos that we’re just beginning to experience. Read Whitley’s latest Journal entry, "Climate Reality", where he offers his insights into the current situation–and the possible repercussions of decades of climate change denial.
- Satellite view showing Europe partially covered in snow under the influence of the anticyclonic cold wave named Hartmut or the "Beast from the East" on 27 February 2018: worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov
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