Watch out: Thundersnow is here to rock you, Britain

Feb 5, 2013

Large parts of the UK hit by 'extremely rare' blend of blizzard and electrical storm

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THUNDERSNOW may sound like the title of a James Bond film or a dubious heavy metal band, but it is in fact a "freak weather phenomenon" that struck large parts of Britian overnight.

Freezing weather combined with thunder and lightning created the extremely rare 'thundersnow' conditions in cities including Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow and Edinburgh, reports the Daily Mail. The most extreme conditions were experienced on Britain's west coast where the "sub-zero thunderstorms" were formed by "deeply unstable and cold air" hitting warm sea," a spokesman for the Met Office said.

The Thundersnow conditions are likely to continue today, the Met Office said. Parts of the UK will be covered by up to 15cm of snow and hit by 70mph winds and the white stuff will continue to fall this week, even in parts of southern England.

Thundersnow was a hot topic on Twitter today where the word was quickly turned into a popular hashtag. Comments ranged from "Go home weather, you’re drunk" to "Thundersnow? I think I saw them at the Monsters of Rock Festival".

Thundersnow is more common in the US and Canada, but a violent storm can take even a seasoned weather forecaster by surprise as this video of an astonished US weather man reporting from Worcester, Massachusetts shows.

Interestingly, one of the characteristics of thundersnow storms is that they’re quieter than common-or-garden storms because the snow tends to muffle the sound of the thunder.

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