An insane photo shows the 'Beast from the East' cold weather system engulfing London -- and it made the front page of half the newspapers in Britain

National Police Air Service
  • A police helicopter captured the perfect photo of wintry weather striking London.
  • Its part of a broader phenomenon which has hit all of Europe with intense cold.
  • It made the front pages of 5 national newspapers in the UK.

An incredible photograph taken from a police helicopter shows the moment a freezing cold weather system hit London with its worst snow and cold in years.

The image, taken on Tuesday afternoon, shows a huge cloud formation moving over the centre of the city, partly obscuring its skyline.

The cold air, which originated over Siberia but moved west due to unusually warm weather over the North Pole, has earned the nickname “The Beast from the East” in Britain.

Familiar buildings like The Shard, western Europe’s tallest skyscraper, and other landmarks in London’s main business area could just about be identified in the image.

London snow photo with labelsNational Police Air Service/Business Insider

It was posted to Twitter by the National Police Air Service, which operates a helicopter over London that helps with searches, reconnaissance and, on the odd occasion, taking amazing pictures.

The photograph was taken over Hampstead, a northerly area of London, and shows the view south towards the centre.

The officers in the helicopter were on their way to another task at the time, and did not take off specifically to take pictures of the weather.

They also recorded video of the snowy front moving through the city:

The photo encapsulated the gravity of the weirdly cold and snowy weather engulfing Britain, much of Europe, and especially London, where all the national newspapers are produced.

As a result, it produced the relatively rare spectacle of the same image being used on the front page of half of the national papers on the newsstand:

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