The icy air of Siberia can be felt in the Iberian Peninsula and the explanation is the Beast from the East, a phenomenon that is not new.
The meteorological winter, which begins on December 1, brings normal temperatures or even above average for the height, with less rain – forecasts are from the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA). But there is a possibility of having a cold season worthy of Siberia and the reason has a curious name: the beast from the east🇧🇷
It is not a certainty, but there are chances that we will experience truly winter temperatures in central Europe and throughout the Iberian Peninsula – which, in recent years, has experienced milder winters.
Beast from the East: What Is It Anyway?
In simple summary, the Beast from the East is a meteorological phenomenon in which a huge concentration of icy air masses occurs in the coldest areas of Russia. These masses can assume different destinations and it is not frequent that they travel to the south of our continent.
For the Beast of the East to happen, it is not enough to have the typical cold of the Siberian zone, a set of factors must exist: the snow layer in Siberia must be high, the air mass must be stable over the zone and, thus, it must there is the formation of a gigantic phenomenon where abnormal concentrations of icy air are observed. But, for these airs to flow south, it is still necessary that a strong anticyclone interferes, properly positioned between the territories of Russia and Scandinavia, creating a kind of corridor that will push the mass of icy air towards the zone of Iberian Peninsula.
Apparently, that’s what’s happening.
Besta do Leste has already passed through Portugal
The huge mass of icy air that is forming in Russia, over Siberia, is nothing new and was already responsible for one of the most rigorous winters in Europe, reaching the continent in February 1956 – Portugal and Spain lived days and nights with sub-zero temperatures.
When will the Beast of the East arrive in Portugal?
Even though this is not a certain scenario to occur in Portugal, it is one of the most likely, as meteorologists warn.
But not for now, since the weather forecasts for the next few days and for the next four weeks are within the expected pattern for the time – with temperatures even slightly above the average observed in recent years.
The Beast of the East should arrive in the Portuguese winter, which does not mean that its effects last throughout the season.
Although the paths taken by the icy easterly winds are still unclear, for now, the movements may indicate that their destination is to reach southern Europe.
Meteorological analyzes indicate that the same conditions seen in 1956 are now taking shape: the concentration of icy air over the Siberian area and the creation of a corridor that could bring it to Portugal.
Therefore, prepare your home and body, and protect yourself from the cold. Here are some tips to stay healthy and safe.
12 tips to stay safe in cold weather
- Heat the house and maintain pleasant temperatures. For the elderly, chronically ill and people with reduced mobility, the temperature must be above 18ºC. Babies and young children should sleep in environments with temperatures between 16ºC and 20ºC.
- Whenever possible, you should avoid leaving the house in the coldest times.
- More vulnerable people, such as the elderly and the chronically ill, should ask for help from friends and family to buy food, for example, and to go to the pharmacy. Make sure that there is no shortage of medicines and that they are available at home in the necessary quantities.
- We should all wear clothes in several layers and not just wear a thicker one. Dress like an “onion” so that you can adapt to where you move, whether at home or on the street. Avoid tight-fitting garments that impede blood circulation.
- Keep your feet warm and comfortable, wear shoes with good grip on the ground and avoid slips and falls.
- Protect your head, face, hands and feet: wear a hat, scarf, gloves and warm socks.
- Do not forget to reinforce skin care, especially in the most exposed areas.
- Drink fluids and stay hydrated. Warm drinks such as milk and tea, as well as soup, help warm the body. Avoid drinking alcohol.
- In the coldest times, avoid doing intense physical exercise.
- Ventilate the house to avoid humidity, but choose periods of the day with higher temperatures, such as mid-morning and early afternoon. From there, close all windows and avoid drafts.
- Before using, always check the heating equipment, whether electric or gas, and if using salamanders and fireplaces, make sure there is good ventilation in the room, in order to avoid poisoning. At night, before going to bed, make sure everything is turned off/deleted.
- When driving, warm up the car and be prudent on the road. Prioritize calm rather than rushing and avoid sudden braking.