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What is thundersnow? Met Office issues UK warning for rare weather phenomenon

Brits could be set for some bizarre weather among the snow, cold and icy frost this week.

The chilly weather may cause some snow and a meteorological phenomenon known as ‘thundersnow.’

Weather warnings for snow are in place for the UK as the country goes through a cold snap only a week after the warmest ever recorded New Year’s Day.

The Met Office said that 16.3C had been reached in St James’s Park in London on the inaugural day of 2022 and more strange weather is now on the way.

So what is thundersnow and what areas of the UK will be impacted?

What is thundersnow?

Thundersnow is a relatively rare phenomenon very much like a thunderstorm, but with snow instead of rain.

Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge explained why thudersnow happens.

The forecaster suggested that the prospect of thundersnow was caused by the difference in temperature between the ground and the air surrounding it.

He said: ” [Warm air] starts to rise very quickly up through the cold air and that’s what creates the potential for thunderstorms.”

What will the weather be like this week?

The weather warning issued by the Met Office applies to a large part of Scotland, Northern England, the Midlands and Northern Ireland.

The yellow weather warning is set to be in place from 8pm on Thursday until 11am on Friday.

As much as 10cm of snow could fall in high parts of Scotland and temperatures in the early hours of Thursday could feel as cold as -4C in Glasgow while commuters in Edinburgh face temperatures as low as -3C.

Mr Madge said: “As conditions get cold tonight, we’re seeing temperatures drop down to freezing quite widely.

“As we get the cold air, that will bring the temperatures right down, we’ve got the weather front coming in from the west and that moisture is going to bump into the cold air and where you get that you will get snow.”