What is THUNDERSNOW, how rare is the weather phenomenon in the UK and how dangerous is it?

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WINTER is here and Brits across the country are wondering if we’re in for a snowy season or not.

While most people know what snow is many do not know what causes the rare breed of the white stuff thundersnow. Here is what we know

 Thundersnow is a rare phenomenon caused when thunderstorms strike at temperatures cold enough for it to snowManchester Evening News Thundersnow is a rare phenomenon caused when thunderstorms strike at temperatures cold enough for it to snow

What is ‘thundersnow’?

Thundersnow is a freak phenomenon of where heavy rain usually associated with thunderstorms falls as snow.

Also known as a thunder snowstorm it is a basically a type of storm with snow falling instead of rain.

A Met Office spokesperson described it as a “the same sort of meteorological phenomenon as you would see in the summer”.

It happens during a snowstorm and is caused when the atmosphere is unstable when a layer of air closest to the ground is cold enough to create snow, but still warmer than the air above it.

 Drivers often can end up stranded if they travel in snow, so only go if your journey is absolutely necessaryLondon News Pictures Drivers often can end up stranded if they travel in snow, so only go if your journey is absolutely necessary

How rare is it in the UK?

Thundersnow occurs far less frequently than a normal because it is only able to occur during a couple of months of the year.

It is incredibly rare in the UK but possible as Met Office meteorologist Emma Sharples said: “It is possible, all that really needs is for thunder to happen at the same time as the snow.

“So where you get very active or vigorous showers – which is what we are going to see – then we could well get some thunder as well. It is definitely possible.”

Interestingly the snow muffles the sound of the thunder crashing in the sky but the lightning flashes will seem even brighter thanks to the whiteness of the snow reflecting it.




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