29 Jan 2015

‘Thundersnow’ storms to hit parts of UK – but what is it?

Wintry weather is causing hazardous conditions across many roads in Scotland and northern England with “be prepared” warnings of heavy snow still in place.

Snowfalls of up to 15cm are predicted tonight in northern areas as Britain is expected to be hit by a week of freezing temperatures.

There are fears the plummeting temperatures could endanger the health of the elderly and vulnerable and cause travel disruption as the snow showers are expected to hit during this morning’s rush hour.

Read Liam Dutton's blog: Snow and a bitter wind to end the week

More than a dozen rail services between Manchester and York have already been cancelled throughout today, with First TransPennine Express saying it planned to run as many trains as possible and that the cancellations were a precaution.

Main roads in Durham and Yorkshire have been closed because of adverse weather, as the Highways Agency warned heavy snow had fallen across the North.

The Met Office has issued an amber “be prepared” snow warning covering large swathes of Britain, from Liverpool Bay across to the Humber to the western side of the Welsh mountains.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: “There is thundersnow to the north of Manchester – these are normal thunderstorms but with snow rather than rain. The lightning on the white flakes is quite dramatic.

“The snowfall is going to continue throughout the night. In the amber area we could see more than 5cm of snow, and more than 15cm on higher ground.

“The impact on peoples’ lives will be more pronounced as people will be trying to get to work and school.”

Cold blasts from Greenland and Iceland will send the mercury plummeting to around 2-3 C in the North and 4-5 C in the south today. Channel 4 News weather presenter, Liam Dutton, explains what “thundersnow” is: