Forecasters are predicting that a unique weather phenomenon known as ‘thundersnow’ could be on its way to us over the next few days.
We saw all manner of unpredictable weather conditions at the latter end of 2021, with both Storm Arwen and Storm Barra gracing us with their presence, all before the country experienced what was described as “an exceptionally mild spell” and recorded the warmest ever New Year’s Day since records began.
But the start of 2022 already sounds like it’s giving 2021 a run for its money.
You may have already heard – and probably felt – that temperatures have plummeted this week and that the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice for much of the North, including parts of Greater Manchester, from between 10am-11am today (Thursday 6 January) right through to 10am tomorrow.
The weather warnings put in place by the Met Office appear to cover parts of Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, and Wigan.
Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Cumbria, Scotland, and Ireland are all included too.
Across the two days, forecasters are saying there could be “frequent sleet and snow showers” leading to some potential disruption to travel and difficult driving conditions, and the Met Office says that some roads and railways are likely to be affected, with longer journey times by road, bus, and train services
There will also probably be some icy patches on untreated roads, pavements, and cycle paths, and in some places, potentially a few brief power outages are possible too, with a risk of isolated lightning strikes.
That’s not all though, as now, apparently some ‘thundersnow’ is on its way too.
What is ‘thundersnow’?
It’s not a term you hear very often, but according to the Met Office, this unique weather phenomenon occurs when thunderstorms form in wintery conditions and release heavy downpours of snow, and when this is then paired with the usual thunder and lighting, this creates ‘thundersnow’.
Usually only occurring a few times a year, it is driven by the same conditions that cause thunderstorms in the summer.
The only difference is, it’s winter – and of course, there’s snow.
The Met Office says: “The snow contained within the thunderstorm acts to dampen the sound of the thunder [and] 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.”
On top of that, the falling snow can even make lightning strikes look brighter as the flash reflects off the snowflakes.
What are forecasters saying?
Grahame Madge – Spokesperson for the Met Office – explained: “At the moment we’ve got a ridge of high pressure leading to clear skies.
“Into the early hours of tomorrow morning, we’ll start to see a weather front approach from the west, bearing in mind conditions will have been intensely cold overnight with frost and freezing fog in southern parts of England.
“We’ll get this frontal band of precipitation working east, then as that cold air bumps into the weather front moving in we’ll see a line of snow along that front.”
He said ‘thundersnow’ would be caused by the difference between the cold front arriving from the west, reaching the ground that has been warmed by unseasonable temperatures, and then once again, he added that the conditions were driven by the same meteorological conditions as storms in summer.
Mr Madge added that ‘thundersnow’ can sound “distinct”, as it is muffled by snow.
Although it’s been open for a few years already, the massive fitness facility keeps going viral on TikTok.
Fitness influencers and weightlifting enthusiasts alike have been flocking to the north west to visit its two sites – one in Liverpool and one on The Wirral – where there are rows upon rows of squat racks, machines and free weights.
In one video, fitness influencer couple Gregor and Hattie described it as ‘heaven’, adding: “This place is unreal.”
In another, two eager gym-goers took a train to go and train, vlogging their entire day.
They said they used all the leg machines ‘they could figure out how to use’ from the overwhelming variety of equipment.
TikTok user @braddlifts, who posts powerlifting content, said: “Have a quick look around, have a look at all the mad sh*t that’s in here.
“I swear to god, it’s mad. Like just look at this dumbbell rack, it goes all the way along the wall!
“I won’t even lie, I’m so happy to give this gym like a 10 out of 10. This is the exact type of gym that I’ve always wanted to train at.”
As well as its insane selection of weights and machines, Dedicated Supergym has plenty of cardio equipment too, including assault bikes, stair masters, treadmills, rowers, ski ergs and cross trainers.
Featured image: Facebook, Dedicated Supergym
Greater Manchester to get 2,000 small wind turbines that provide more ‘affordable energy’
An ambitious new project will see thousands of small wind turbines installed across Greater Manchester to provide “more affordable energy”.
Set to be delivered by a partnership of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Energy Innovation Agency, and the Manchester Inward Investment Agency, and alongside renewable energy manufacturers Alpha 311, Greater Manchester could soon become home to 2,000 wind turbine units as part of the region’s carbon reduction plan.
The wind turbines are powered by the air moved by passing vehicles, and will be put on buildings and lampposts, according to BBC News.
Alpha 311 said the turbines’ size could even see small sites become wind farms.
The manufacturer said the units were smaller and lighter than the type of wind turbines we are used to seeing on hills and in the countryside across the UK, or off-shore turbines, and it means they can be used on roads, bridges, buildings, and towers.
Most-notably, turbines expected to be the same or similar to the ones on their way to Greater Manchester have been installed next to the O2 Arena in London.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said he was looking forward to seeing the “innovative wind turbines” in action as they could “see us generate more low carbon energy locally”, and crucially, “provide more affordable energy” at a time when people in the region “need it most”.
“The switch to net-zero carbon can, and should, be something that offers a fairer future, as well as a greener one,” Mr Burnham explained.
Mr Burnham said the partnership would also support the creation of 200 new jobs.
The cost of the project has not yet been revealed, but it’s thought they could begin being installed across the region should an initial pilot using the street turbines that’s set to start in Telford later in the year be successful.
The turbines in the pilot trial will be used to power streets lights, and any surplus energy will be sent back to the National Grid.