Did you hear the thundersnow during the big blizzard? Many people have asked whether or not it is real, and, in fact, yes, it is. It is very rare, but it does happen. This National Geographic Article, “Thundersnow” Facts: Mysterious Storms Explained, provides a quick summary of this phenomena. Here’s a quote:
- Thundersnow starts out like a summer thunderstorm… The sun heats the ground and pushes masses of warm, moist air upward, creating unstable air columns.As it rises, the moisture condenses to form clouds, which are jostled by internal turbulence.The “tricky part” for making thundersnow, Market said, is creating that atmospheric instability in the wintertime.For thundersnow to occur, the air layer closer to the ground has to be warmer than the layers above, but still cold enough to create snow—a very precise circumstance.