Thundersnow and blizzards to hit North West

10 January 2017

By Sean Robinson @SeanRobinsonUU

With many parts of the North West about to be hit with "thundersnow" and blizzards as the first Arctic cold spell of winter blows in from the north, temperatures set to tumble, is now a good time the check your internal pipework?

Yellow warnings for wind and snow have been issued by the Met Office, with showers expected to bring 2cm to 5cm of snow at lower levels and 10cm to 20cm on ground above 200 metres.

The warnings affect parts of the North West from Wednesday forecasts says, including Manchester.

With the cold air originating over Arctic Canada, Met Officemeteorologist Emma Sharples told PA: "We could get some blizzard-type conditions, especially at height."

"Thundersnow", is where the rain associated with a thunderstorm falls as snow, she 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."

Ms Sharples said the snow at lower levels will come in the form of showers and is unlikely to build up too much, unless there is "shower after shower coming over the same location".

Adding: "Even a centimetre of snow in this country can obviously cause some disruption," adding that there could be "some showers inland, but they are likely to be short-lived".

The Met Office said: "Lightning may accompany the heaviest showers, with potential disruption to power supplies as a consequence."

Simon Bullen, a water engineer with United Utilities, teamed up withITV News to demonstrate to viewers how easy to be Winter Wise and protect your internal pipework, prevent leaks, and bursts.

On Wednesday and Thursday, wind gusts of up to 55mph are expected in exposed coastal areas and on hills.

Overnight frosts are also set to develop in most places, with severe frost likely where there is snow on the ground in the north.

Temperatures look likely to drop to low single figures, 2C to 5C by day, and then overnight it will vary across the county.