Head of long-range forecasting, Professor Adam Schaife, alerted the Cabinet Office to the incoming weather bomb four weeks ago.
In preparation for the ‘beast from the east’ Schaife said he stocked up on essentials.
‘I got extra oil, food and logs in, knowing this was coming,’ he said. This was before shoppers panic bought food and oil. In many stores almost nothing was left on the shelves as people stocked up on essentials and prepared for increasingly bad weather.
Deliveries attempting to reach the store became stuck as snow caused chaos on roads across the UK. Oil companies were forced to increase their delivery times due to demand.
Ministers failed to act despite the early warning from experts at the Met Office. Possibly this rush for the nation to prepare could have been avoided.
National Grid revealed that the UK was on the brink of running out of gas, as intense demand caused by plunging temperatures outstripped supply. The utility company, which operates the gas pipeline network, issued a ‘gas deficit warning’ as the population ramped up the thermostats.
Schaife also revealed that a similar weather pattern had caused the glacial freezes of February 2009 and 2013. He added the Met Office’s modelling had improved allowing it to detect extreme winter patterns much earlier.