04 December 2020 12:36
Frightened Edinburgh residents contacted the emergency services when they were woken in the early hours by loud explosions they feared were the result of a plane crash or a building collapsing. Police explained that their rude awakening had been caused by the phenomenon known as "thundersnow", which happens when thunderstorms form in wintry conditions, giving rise to heavy downpours of snow. The Police Scotland control room tweeted shortly after 5am on Friday: "We have received a number of calls regarding people concerned about explosions heard. Two unusually loud thunder claps were heard over the Scottish capital, terrifying pets, setting off car alarms and waking sleeping residents, who likened the noise to that of a sonic boom or explosion. The Met Office explains that thundersnow is unusual because it can happen only in a few months of the year.
"When thundersnow occurs at night the lightning appears brighter–- this is because the light reflects off the snowflakes. It adds: "Interestingly, the snow contained within the thunderstorm acts to dampen the sound of the thunder. Ian Rankin (@Beathhigh) Gutted that I slept through the #Edinburgh #thundersnow Rain, sleet and snow is also expected across a broad swathe of Scotland and northern England. A Met Office weather warning for snow and heavy rain through Friday morning was issued for the east of England plus London and the south-east. It warned of heavy rain and snow that could lead to tricky travel due to surface water and "possible slushy accumulations".
"Good morning to everyone...excerpt the thunder that woke everyone in Edinburgh at 4:40am" - @mrblairbowman "The ENTIRE of Edinburgh is awake now after the two most insanely loud blasts of thunder I have heard in my entire life!!" - @misha_camp "The loudest thunder crack just went off in Edinburgh. "Good morning to the entirety of edinburgh who is now deliriously googling the term "thunder snow" after being woken up by what seemed like a bomb going off" - @rachelcantsleep Bedroom lit up with flash of lightning, 1 second before the largest bang I've ever heard, the whole flat shook. Good morning to everyone in Edinburgh who is on twitter trying to find out if one of those massive bangs = thunder or end of the world" - @hanarchovist It's pretty much as it says, thunder that happens when it's snowing. It's quite rare and, unlike standard thunder, only happens in certain times of the year. Bad weather is currently causing chaos on Edinburgh's roads, with the Queensferry Crossing shut, and a number of the popular's main routes off limits due to difficult conditions. Cut through the noise with the top M.E.N. news stories sent direct to your inbox Click here Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Residents in Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland were woken up to thundersnow in the early hours of Friday. Police Scotland Control Rooms reassured the public that the "explosions" heard were down to bad weather after they received a number of concerned calls. BBC Weather confirmed the phenomenon as "not just snow, it's Thundersnow." When thunderstorms form in wintry conditions they can sometimes give rise to heavy downpours of snow. This, along with the usual thunder and lightning, is called 'thundersnow', says the Met Office. BBC Weather's Simon King tweeted on Friday: "Reports of some epic #thundersnow in Edinburgh and Perth area waking a few people up first thing this morning. What does thunder snow look like? When thundersnow occurs at night the lightning appears brighter - this is because the light reflects off the snowflakes, the Met Office says. Interestingly, the snow contained within the thunderstorm acts to dampen the sound of the thunder. While the thunder from a typical thunderstorm might be heard many miles away, the thunder during a thundersnow event will only be heard if you are within 2 to 3 miles of the lightning. Mr King said in his morning forecast: "Some of you woke up to snow this morning. "In the south-east of England, we had a mixture of rain, sleet and snow. "In Edinburgh we had some thundersnow, which is essentially a thunderstorm with snow falling and that woke up quite a few people early this morning." He added: "That heavy snow across Scotland will continue for a time, particularly over the higher ground but turn increasingly to rain by the afternoon." Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain in eastern Scotland, including Edinburgh, and for ice in north-western Scotland. A yellow weather warning for rain and snow is also in place until 11am on Friday in the East Midlands and East of England. Mercifully, the bright flashes and loud bangs that woke hundreds of city residents in the early hours of Friday wasn't the end of world – but instead, a rare thundersnow storm. At around 4,40am, social media erupted as the surprise thundersnow storm peaked with explosions and thunder and lightning. Some people said they heard two bangs, one after the other, with the second the loudest, while others said that it could be a rare weather phenomenon 'thundersnow'. Large swathes of Edinburgh were awoken by bright flashes and loud bangs in the early hours of Friday morning. It seemed that the common thread was the noise woke most people up, with many asking what the cause was. Such was the concern among people in Edinburgh, Police Scotland had to reassure locals that the 'explosions' were just the weather. In a tweet, posted at 5.03am, the force said: "We have have received a number of calls regarding people concerned about explosions heard. Did not sound like thunder – more of an explosion." Alistair Slaven said: "I was woken up by a flash of light and then the thunder – and wow it was loud. Loudest and longest thunder I've ever heard. Gina Mcleod commented: "That first bang didn't sound like thunder at all. Ewan Holberg wrote: "Genuinely thought it was an explosion or a building had collapsed!" Had my head down and there was a loud bang and bright light above me. Big flash of light, followed by thunder.