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Brits were jolted awake by rare "thunder snow" with vaccination centres forced to shut as the white stuff blankets the UK today.
Thousands received a rude awakening when the natural phenomenon unleashed a "loud bang" and super-bright lightning in Hampshire.
Meanwhile four vaccination centres have been closed with snow causing travel chaos in Wales.
Locals in Southampton and Winchester said the "thundersnow" was like an atomic bomb going off.
One wrote on social media: "Never heard of TS before. It was the noise I imagine an atomic bomb makes when exploding! So loud!
"Takes something extreme to wake me up this early on a Sunday!"
Other users posted: "So this just woke up the whole village with a jump. Anyone else?
"It’s called thundersnow. Really rare phenomenon. Never heard anything like it! It was so loud and long!
"OK sounds like its thundersnow, but for a second there I genuinely did think apocalypse."
The Met Office says: "When thunderstorms form in wintry conditions they can sometimes give rise to heavy downpours of snow which are often called 'thundersnow'.
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"Thundersnow is unusual only because it can only occur 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."
Welsh authorities said vaccine appointments at the Bridgend, Rhondda, Abercynon and Merthyr Tydfil centres on Sunday January 24 will be rescheduled for safety reasons.
Police have warned of difficult conditions due to snow and ice as the Met Office extended a yellow weather warning to midnight on Sunday for all of Wales apart from Anglesey.
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Up to 3cm of snow is forecast to fall in most areas, with 10 to 15cm expected in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia.
The Met Office has issued snow warnings for swathes of the country as the north and south are expected to see snowfall on Sunday.
The amount seen across the country will vary, but over particularly high ground the depth of snow could reach 10cm, or four inches.
One Met Office warning for the south reads: “An area of snow will move across Wales and central and southern England today, becoming slow-moving for a time across parts of the Midlands.
“This will bring one to three cm of snow across much of the warning area, though not all sites will see lying snow and northern parts of East Anglia may see a little snow.
“Areas above 100m are likely to be worst affected and here, five to ten cm of snow is possible, particularly for parts of the Midlands.”
- Met Office
- UK Weather
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