Ask Storm Team 11: What Causes Thundersnow?

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Today’s question from Georgia Reed: what causes thundersnow?

Thundersnow is created from lightning within a snow storm. The difference in the cold surface temperatures compared to the warmer air above the surface fuels instability which then in turn creates extra strong lift in the atmosphere. This lift is where these low topped storms produce lightning during a snow event. These kinds of storms within a snowstorm are much less common than the normal spring and summer storms that we are all used to. Since thundersnow is associated with rising air, this extra lift typically translates into heavy snow. Next time you see lightning or hear thunder during a snow storm, now you know how thundersnow is created.

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