UK weather: Britain shudders through -8C coldest night of winter

Britain woke as much as a widespread frost right now amid the prospect of blizzard situations, robust winds and as much as half a foot of snow after temperatures fell to -8C in a single day.

A band of heavy rain moved east throughout the UK this morning, earlier than it’s set to show wintry over the Pennines, Lake District and North York Moors – with snow forecast from Derbyshire and Staffordshire northwards.

‘Thundersnow’ – a thunderstorm that produces snow as an alternative of rain – can be potential, brought on by the temperature distinction between the chilly entrance reaching the bottom that has been warmed by unseasonable temperatures. 

It comes after England’s coldest night of the winter to date which noticed Topcliffe in North Yorkshire fall to -8C (17.6F), whereas Benson in Oxfordshire fell to -6.6C (20.1F) and London Gatwick Airport was right down to -5.4C (22.3F).

The Met Workplace has issued two climate warnings for snow with one working between 10am and 4pm right now and one other from 8pm in a single day till 11am tomorrow, masking most of Scotland and northern England.

Forecasters mentioned many locations will see one to 2 hours of snow – longer over increased floor – and warned of ‘troublesome journey situations’ with slushy accumulations then freezing and inflicting icy patches on roads.

Snow on the ground at daybreak near Leyburn in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, this morning

Snow on the bottom at dawn close to Leyburn in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, this morning

A frost covered landscape shortly after sunrise at Richmond Park in South West London today on a very cold winter morning

A frost coated panorama shortly after dawn at Richmond Park in South West London right now on a really chilly winter morning

Frost on the ground in the Surrey village of Woldingham this morning as temperatures fell well below freezing overnight

Frost on the bottom within the Surrey village of Woldingham this morning as temperatures fell nicely under freezing in a single day

Frost on a garden in South East London this morning after temperatures fell below zero overnight

Frost on a backyard in South East London this morning after temperatures fell under zero in a single day

A frosty start to the morning in London today after overnight temperatures fell to as low as -8C in parts of England

A frosty begin to the morning in London right now after in a single day temperatures fell to as little as -8C in elements of England

Between 1in (2.5cm) and 2in (5cm) of snow is probably going above 650ft and 4in (10cm) to 6in (15cm) above 1300ft. Forecasters additionally mentioned there might be journey disruption to trains and buses in addition to ‘temporary’ energy cuts.

For decrease ranges, the Met Workplace mentioned: ‘Falling snow could trigger some short-term slushy accumulations which then could freeze and trigger harmful, icy patches the place skies stay clear for lengthy sufficient.

What’s thundersnow?

Thunder and lightning are extra normally related to hotter climates however beneath sure situations they will happen in chilly ones too. 

Thundersnow begins out like a summer time thunderstorm – the solar heats the bottom and pushes plenty of heat, moist air upward, creating unstable air columns. 

Because it rises, the moisture condenses to kind clouds, that are jostled by inside turbulence. Lightning is brought on by this rubbing of the clouds towards one another – thunder is the sound of lightning however as sound strikes extra slowly than gentle we hear it later. 

The difficult half for thundersnow is creating that atmospheric instability within the winter. When it’s chilly, and notably in air conducive to snowfall, the decrease ambiance is dry, chilly and really steady. 

For thundersnow to happen there must be a exact set of circumstances – the air layer nearer to the bottom needs to be hotter than the layers above, however nonetheless chilly sufficient to create snow.

When this occurs heat air rises, snow falls and thunder, lightning and snow all happen on the similar time.

‘Winds will probably be gusty round heavier showers and there may be additionally a danger of lightning strikes from remoted thunderstorms in some coastal districts.’

There is also lightning strikes from remoted thunderstorms in coastal areas. 

Met Workplace spokesman Grahame Madge mentioned locations that would expertise disruption are these in warning areas at 650ft and above.

Mr Madge mentioned the wintry climate may embody ‘thundersnow’ – a thunderstorm that produces snow as an alternative of rain.

That is brought on by the temperature distinction between the chilly entrance arriving from the west reaching the bottom that has been warmed by unseasonable temperatures.

The climate is about to ease tomorrow morning, leaving a principally dry and shiny day with some sunny spells.

Mr Madge added: ‘We had sub-tropical air in cost final weekend, which gave us a record-breaking New Yr. However you need to keep in mind that is winter.

‘We’re not anticipating enormous snowfall however there may be the potential for vital accumulations in some locations.’

Forecasters count on this morning to start with a bone-chilling low of -12C (10F) round Aviemore in Inverness-shire.

Mr Madge continued: ‘Into Thursday morning, temperatures will drop to freezing virtually all over the place and we might even see locations like Aviemore and sheltered glens falling to -10C (14F) or -12C (10F).

‘The snow is being brought on by a climate entrance coming in from the west, bringing moisture-laden air and really robust winds. 

‘As this moisture bumps into chilly air over Scotland, it’ll set off snowfall.’

The Met Workplace forecasts milder situations going into the weekend.

The Met Office has issued a series of weather warnings for snow and ice across Scotland and northern England

The Met Workplace has issued a sequence of climate warnings for snow and ice throughout Scotland and northern England

Mr Madge mentioned: ‘Friday into Saturday we now have obtained one other frontal system transferring throughout the UK. That is extra prone to ship rain extra extensively.

‘By Saturday and into the weekend any wintry showers are prone to be simply over the upper tops and fells.’

It follows the UK’s warmest ever New Yr’s Day on Saturday when St James’s Park in London registered 16.3C (61.3F), beating the earlier file of 15.6C (60.1F) set in Bude, Cornwall, set greater than a century in the past in 1916.

And that got here after the nation’s mildest New Yr’s Eve on file final Friday when Merryfield in Somerset reached 15.8C (60.4F), beating the earlier excessive of 14.8C (58.6F) set in 2011 at Colwyn Bay in North Wales.