Does thunder ever occur in a snowstorm?

Dateline article| David Murphy|

by David Murphy

Yes! It's called thundersnow and I experienced it for the first time while shoveling snow during a storm in Delaware County in January 2005.

Thundersnow most often occurs during heavy snowstorms and is basically a thunderstorm that is producing snow instead of rain. It's pretty rare and requires an unusual amount of instability above the surface, as well as a strong shaft of rising air (an updraft) not normally present in most snowstorms. The bottom line? If you're ever outside in a good snow and you think you hear thunder, you're not crazy. In fact, pat yourself on the back. You've just experienced a rare meteorological event and now have something very interesting to tell your family and friends!

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