Thundersnow

"Thundersnow" is the name given to a snow storm that is accompanied by thunder and lightning. Thunderstorms are significantly more likely in the summer when instability is in the air, along with lift and moisture. The necessary instability for a thunderstorm is less likely in the winter, as the air below needs to be cold enough for snow, yet warmer than the air above it.

However, when the right conditions are met, thunder and lightning can be produced during a winter snow storm. Since the snow can muffle the sound of thunder, you're more likely to notice it if you are within 3 miles of the lightning strike.

More Weather Glossary

  • Hoar Frost

    After a cold, clear winter night without much wind, the ground and nearby tree branches may be covered by tiny, white ice crystals.

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WeatherWhys®

This Day In Weather History

Washington, DC (1922)
Knickerbocker storms 28-inch snowfall crushed Washington theater of that name killing over 100 movie patrons.

Arkansas to South Carolina (1948)
Ice storm (Jan. 24th-31st) causes considerable damage; at least 30 deaths and $20 million damage.

Canada (1985)
Huge blizzard in northeastern Canada; lowest pressure ever recorded in Canada was approached with 946 mb at Mary's Harbor, Newfoundland (Record of 940.2 mb set at St. Anthony's, Newfoundland, Jan. 20, 1977.) Cartwright, Newfoundland had close to 24 inches of snow (total 106 inches on ground).