Once again we are dealing with a bit of snow across the area.
Sure, the wind made it much worse since most areas saw only a few inches or less, but it wasn’t a major snow storm by northern plains standards.
Other parts of the country have seen some whoppers, though.
And at times, those big storms have produced thunder snow.
I have only seen this in person a few times, but man is it a sight to see.
It’s rather rare to get the right weather conditions to come together for it to happen, so when it does, you’re viewing something rather rare.
Basically it happens when there is some much warmer and unstable air aloft, but the air below is cold enough and deep enough for it to snow instead of rain.
And if things are right, you have an elevated thunderstorm complete with lightning…and sometimes even hail.
The first time I recall seeing it was a kid.
It was sometime during the evening hours and my trusty weather radio was indicating some areas were reporting thunder snow.
So I went to the window to watch for it.
And I waited.
All of a sudden, the entire sky lit up with thunder shortly after.
It was incredible!
I don’t recall jumping up and down as much as Jim Cantore does when he sees thunder snow, but I might have.
Almost in unison with the thunder and lightning, the snow began pouring down at a much faster clip.
At one point during this event, the folks on the weather radio were reporting that snow was falling at a rate of 4 inches per hour!
That’s a lot of snow.
And you see that a lot in thunder snow.
Much like you see pouring rain in a summer storm, the same happens in thunder snow events.
And much like summer storms, the higher rate of precipitation doesn’t last all that long.
I’ve seen other instances of thunder snow, sometimes including vivid cloud to ground lightning.
I’ve even experienced thunder during freezing rain.
There is something fascinating about seeing lightning and hearing thunder when it’s snowing.
I haven’t seen it in years.
But I hope to see it again at some point.
It’s just an awesome spectacle.