Rare thundersnow impacts wide swaths of UK

Rare thundersnow impacts wide swaths of UK

Heavy snow has fallen in wide swaths of the UK as a rare thunderstorm hit the country on Sunday, January 24, 2021, blanketing roads along with loud bangs and wintry showers.

Residents woke up to a blanket of snow and loud thunderstorms that struck Wales, London, and the Midlands on Sunday.

One Twitter user said it takes a lot to wake him up, noting how loud the sound was. Another user added, "[It] sounds like a thundersnow, but for a second there I genuinely did think apocalypse."

According to the Met Office, thundersnow is a rare phenomenon that occurs when thunderstorms form in wintry conditions, causing heavy downpours of snow.

Yellow snow and ice warnings are in place across the Midlands and the South of England. Portions of Stoke, Nottingham, Manchester, and western parts of Scotland are also covered by the alert. 

In the far north of Scotland, up to 17 cm (6.7 inches) of snow covered the roads, prompting internet users to trend the hashtag "Narnia" as they shared photos of their snowy neighborhoods.

"A band of snow, sleet, and some rain along the coast pushed across the whole of the Hampshire and it was quite heavy," said Tom Morgan, a meteorologist at the Met Office. Four vaccination centers were forced to shut in South Wales due to the severe weather. 

Car collisions were reported on the M3, M27, and M25. Highways England urged drivers to travel only if necessary. Meanwhile, Leicestershire Police said there was a five-car accident that closed a portion of the M1 at junction 22, warning that conditions are "treacherous".

Met Office forecasts snow, mainly over the high ground of northern England and Scotland on Tuesday, January 26.

Featured image credit: Leicestershire Roads Policing Unit

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