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Extremely loud thundersnow startles residents in Scotland

Friday, December 4th 2020, 12:21 pm - Witnesses said the booms sounded like 'explosions.'

Police Scotland issued a public statement after thundersnow hit the Edinburgh region early Friday morning, waking up startled residents who thought there had been an explosion.

According to the BBC, two "extraordinarily loud" booms were heard just before 5:00 a.m. local time.

Heavy snow was falling at the time, causing widespread disruptions that included the closure of the Queensferry Crossing bridge.

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Police issued a statement after receiving several calls from the public.

"We have received a number of calls regarding people concerned about explosions heard," Police Scotland said.

"Please do not be alarmed, we are currently experiencing thunder and lightning."


"Basically, it's just a winter thunderstorm," explains Weather Network meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal.

"But instead of rain, we have snow."

Whittal says thundersnow is typically associated with significant systems like a nor'easter or strong lake effect event.

When warm surface temperatures -- like from a lake -- rise into cold air aloft, and there is convection in the atmosphere, you might get to hear thunder and see lightning.

But all the ingredients have to come together just so, making thundersnow a rare occurrence.

Thumbnail file photo courtesy of Mark Robinson.

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