Edinburgh thundersnow: Capital awoken by deafening bang and lightning in early hours

Large swathes of Edinburgh were awoken by bright flashes and loud bangs in the early hours of Friday morning.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 9:33 am

Plenty of residents took to social media shortly after 4.40am to record the two loud cracks, believed to be thunder and lightning, which seemingly left many wondering what made the noise.

Some people said they heard two bangs, one after the other, with the second the loudest, while others said that it could be a rare weather phenomenon ‘thundersnow’.

It seemed the common thread was that the noise woke most people up, with many asking what the cause was.

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Police Scotland tweeted to say they had received several calls about the “explosions”, but reassured people not to be concerned and that it was in fact thunder and lightening.

In a tweet, posted at 5.03am, the force said: “We have have received a number of calls regarding people concerned about explosions heard.

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

Just after the bangs, many took to Twitter to discuss what they had heard.

Edinburgh image

Blair Bowman said: “Good morning to everyone...except the thunder that woke everyone in Edinburgh at 4:40am.”

Joseph Mansfield wrote: “Well today I apparently learned what thundersnow sounds like. And it was a legitimately terrifying way to be woken up.”

Ash Pryce said: “The whole of eastern Scotland is currently wondering if we’re all about to be blown away, frozen or drowned, right?”

Shasta wrote: ”Just woke up to a massive bang that scared the life out of me.

"Thank goodness for #edinburgh twitter for telling me it wasn’t a building collapsing but apparently #thunder #snow. I mean what did people do before twitter?

“Grateful for the collective heart tremor #PanicOver”

Traffic Scotland took to Twitter to say the Queensferry Crossing is currently closed due to adverse weather conditions, writing:”#M90 Queensferry Crossing is currently closed in both directions due to adverse weather conditions. Please use alternative route and allow plenty of time for your journey. #StaySafe”

According to experts at the Met Office, Thudersnow is: “When thunderstorms form in wintry conditions they can sometimes give rise to heavy downpours of snow. This, along with the usual thunder and lightning, is called 'thundersnow'. Thundersnow is unusual only because it can only occur in a few months of the year.”

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