UK snow forecast: Thundersnow sparks -8C weekend freeze as Greenland air smashes Britain

Met Office issues snow warnings for parts of UK

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The cold weather is said to come as a result of icy Greenland air travelling through Britain. The rare “thundersnow” phenomenon occurs when snow is followed by thunder and lightning, in the same way it typically does with rain. This comes as a yellow weather warning remains in place for snow and ice in Scotland, northern England, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland.

The cold air brought temperatures of -8C in Yorkshire and Highland Scotland and -7C in Bedfordshire, Northumberland overnight last night.

The Met Office is forecasting lows of -8C overnight in parts of Scotland on Saturday. 

Netweather has forecast snow over Northern England, Scotland and the Welsh Mountains, but added the parts of the UK – such as southwest Wales, coastal southwest England and Northern Ireland – could see milder air.

Weather forecaster WXCharts predicted up to 0.7 inches (2cm) of snow per hour in northwest England and parts of Scotland and less than 0.3 inches (1cm) in Manchester and the surrounding areas.

It has forecast up to 8 inches (20cm) of snow in total in parts of Scotland by the end of Friday, continuing through to the weekend.

Northwest Scotland could see up to 10 inches (25cm) of snow by Sunday.

Jo Farrow, Netweather forecaster, said: “The Met Office has a yellow warning for snow over higher level routes such as trans-Pennine, through the Southern Uplands and into Highland Scotland.

“These warnings reflect the forecast impacts because of the severe weather.

“There will be snow for a time outside of the warned area, as a southerly wind picks up and rain appears.

“Mostly the snow will be over the hills but lower parts of northern England and Scotland could see a little bit of snow today.

“Temperatures for SW Wales and coastal SW England could reach 9 or 10C with Northern Ireland up to 8c in a sliver of milder air.”

She added: “Polar Maritime air from Greenland, moving across the north Atlantic, picking up moisture and then throwing a lot of showers our way.

“The mixed showers of rain, sleet and snow will continue to feed in from the Atlantic, over Northern Ireland with more shelter for Counties Down and Antrim.

“Also, over Scotland with heavier falls for the NW Highlands and Trossachs.

“Over northern England and Yorkshire with western areas being more prone but the snow showers reaching across to the Dales and Peaks.

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“Through Friday morning a new little low centre develops off SW Britain, which links back to another Atlantic low pressure off the tip of Greenland and again heading near to Iceland.

“This will move over SW England, the West Country and south Wales later on Friday morning with cloud and rain but also hill snow.

“Worth bearing in mind for Exmoor and Dartmoor with a slight veer in the wind by the afternoon.

“Temperatures by day will be 3 to 6C and it will feel cold in the wind and damp air.”

The Met Office forecast a “fresh covering of snow”, with up to 6 inches (15cm) on the highest ground.

It warned that “frequent sleet, hail and snow showers may lead to some disruption to travel” on Friday.

Continuing through to the weekend, the Met Office has forecast further “wintry” weather, saying: “Early cloud and rain, heavy at times, clearing eastwards, probably finally clearing the far east and southeast of England after dark. Brighter spells and showers, wintry over hills, follow.”

It said the areas affected by the yellow weather warnings in force this morning may see “travel delays on roads with a small chance of some stranded vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel”.

The Met Office also warned of power cuts, icy patches and a “slight chance that some rural communities could become cut off”.

It added: “Frequent wintry showers arriving from the west during Thursday evening and overnight are likely to lead to a fresh covering of snow for areas above 100-200m (mainly 2-5 cm, but locally 5-10 cm above 200 m and as much as 15 cm over the highest ground where showers are most frequent).

“Falling snow below this level may cause some temporary slushy accumulations which then may freeze and cause icy patches where skies remain clear for long enough.

“Winds will be gusty around heavier showers and there is also a risk of lightning strikes from isolated thunderstorms in some coastal districts.”

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