Snow To Blanket UK As Rare Polar Vortex Collapse Could Spell Trouble For Power Grid
October 11, 2021 |Snow To Blanket UK As Rare Polar Vortex Collapse Could Spell Trouble For Power Grid
A sensation headline from UK's tabloid newspaper, Daily Star, sums up a possible rare weather event that could throw the UK into a more profound energy crisis. The headline states: "As gas supply chaos sends price sky-high a -10c polar vortex is heading our way..."
Meteorologists warn a stratospheric warming event could generate a polar vortex split that pours freezing weather into the country later this month or early November.
"There are signs of the stratosphere experiencing an unusual warming in the next few days, causing the polar vortex above the Arctic Circle to become less strong than normal later in October," a former BBC weatherman and meteorologist for Weathertrending John Hammond told The Sun.
"These high-altitude winds normally intensify as we head towards winter. So an unusual weakening of the polar vortex may well impact our weather later through autumn and into early winter.
"'Sudden stratospheric warming' events can sometimes lead the polar vortex to go into reverse, which can have dramatic impacts on winter weather and increase the chances of severe cold.
"However, there are no indications yet that such a reversal will occur.
"The last time that lowland southern Britain saw significant snowfall as early as October was in 2008 - a measure of how rare it is."
UK's Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said the polar vortex weakening could "have implications for our weather going into the winter."
🌎 Energy Prices Explosion is also linked to expectations of a harsh winter ⬇— Christophe Barraud🛢 (@C_Barraud) October 1, 2021
A Deep Freeze This Winter Hinges on La Nina and the Polar Vortex - Bloomberg
*Link: https://t.co/KF7yqXYe0f pic.twitter.com/Qk3Rh8SRoK
The forecast for an early winter event is disastrous, considering we've noted the "winter of discontent" could be imminent for the county as natural gas shortages have pushed prices to record highs in recent weeks. Natgas remains in a shortage due to low Russia-European flows and increased gas usage by UK power plants as renewable energy (wind power) becomes unreliable with some of the calmest winds in half a century. All of this caused multiple issues, first gas prices for chemical companies made it uneconomical to produce carbon dioxide, which triggered a food supply chain crisis for supermarkets. The second issue was soaring gas prices increased power prices for consumers. But the good news is Vladimir Putin soothed energy markets last week and said Russia is ready to help stabilize energy markets which pushed prices lower but still remain at elevated levels.
Natgas flows into the UK remain depressed but are slowly increasing.
The transition to cleaner energy has been an utter disaster for the UK as wind power generation has collapsed, forcing power suppliers to fire up natural gas turbines and even coal plants to meet demand and avoid a total grid collapse. The UK's electricity system operator (ESO) spent more than $117 million last week in payments to coal-fired power plants to increase power supplies. Britain has been winding down coal power in recent years. Still, the transition to renewables has become so unreliable that fossil fuel is making a comeback, massively ahead of winter.
Soaring demand for coal in Europe and Asia is pushing prices to record-highs ahead of winter.
To sum this all up, the UK is not ready for a polar vortex collapse due to instabilities in its grid related to unreliable renewable energy sources. It may have to increasingly lean on fossil fuel generation that is becoming more expensive and in short supply. The green transition touted by liberals might jeopardize the grid during a winter storm or cold weather, forcing grid operators to initiate rolling blackouts to thwart a collapse.