Britain braces for thundersnow as temperatures plunge overnight

Drivers warned to check weather conditions before travelling

Holly Bancroft
Thursday 06 January 2022 16:40
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Snowy scenes across UK as temperatures plunge

Britons woke up to widespread frost this morning after temperatures plunged overnight.

Snow is expected to fall throughout Thursday and into Friday morning, particularly in Scotland and northern England. Many places will see between one and two hours of snowfall leaving up to 15cm of the white stuff on higher ground.

Southern England woke up to chilly temperatures of -5C on Thursday morning and forecasters have said that “thundersnow” is possible in the region.

The strange weather condition is caused when a cold front hits warm ground. Much of Britain saw unseasonably warm weather over New Year, setting the ground conditions for “thundersnow” to appear.

Temperatures in Topcliffe in North Yorkshire fell to -8C overnight, and Benson in Oxfordshire saw chills of -6.6C.

A “severe weather event” alert for snow and ice, affecting the north of England and the West Midlands, was issued by National Highways for 10am on Thursday.

The warning read: “Road users intending to travel through the affected regions are being advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling. National Highways is working closely with the Met Office in monitoring the weather conditions and due to the forecast have issued a Severe Alert for snow.”

One Met Office warning lasts from 8pm on Thursday night through to 11am on Friday and predicts “frequent sleet, hail and snow showers”.

Three yellow-level warnings are in place and the Met Office said that “a band of rain will move eastwards across the UK during Thursday” – which is likely to fall as snow for a period.

Met Office meteorologist Claire Nasir told The Sun on Wednesday: “As we head through this evening, with clearer skies and a lighter breeze, we will see temperatures fall very quickly so expect a widespread frost.

“Temperatures will be plummeting to around -4C in England and Wales and -10C on snowfields across Scotland.

“Eventually a ridge of high pressure will extend across so we’ll see a fairly hard frost into Thursday morning before milder air moves in from the Atlantic with a band of cloud and rain.

“As the rain encounters the colder air, it will turn to snow. Colder behind as well so snow showers are likely through Friday too.”

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