Folks in the Twin Cities saw 8" of snow on Wednesday 2/25, much of it falling in short bursts. People on the Eastern Seaboard saw some similar action earlier this week. Much of the accumulation was caused by a rare phenomenon called "thundersnow."

"According to Patrick Market, an associate professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri, a 30-year study of snowfall found that when lightning is observed during a snowstorm, there is an 86 percent chance that at least six inches (15 centimeters) of snow will fall within 70 miles (113 kilometers) of the flash. Researchers are trying to determine the combo of atmospheric conditions required to create thundersnow to help them better predict heavy snowfall—which they define as at least eight inches (20 centimeters) falling at a rate of three to four inches (7.5 to 10 centimeters) per hour—and issue warnings about hazardous weather before it hits, giving people time to prepare, take cover and get off the road.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Thor's picture
Thor says:

If you just can't get enough thundersnow info, here's a link to more data from National Geographic.

posted on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 12:27pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I was in Atlanta last Sunday and it was snowing huge wet 1" snow flakes and also thundering...two things you don't encounter together very often. It was sort of disconcerting.

posted on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 10:03pm
Gary Benninger's picture
Gary Benninger says:

I captured this on Jan 12th 2011. If you'd like to see what it looks like. You rarely see the lightning itself, only the flash.

posted on Sat, 01/22/2011 - 10:23am

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