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Thunder & Lightning During a Snow Storm?

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posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:21 PM
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We are in the middle of a blizzard in Montreal with about 40cm of expected snow with high wind conditions.

I'm sitting at my computer reading ATS and the next thing you know I see a flash in the corner of my eye. While wondering what it was I hear a loud thunder clap!!



In the middle of a snowstorm?

Craziness!

I didn't even know it was possible.
.




posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:26 PM
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It's uncommon but not unheard of.

The Straight Dope


Air instability is also important to thunderstorm formation. It commonly occurs when warm air near the surface of the Earth rises due to convection--in the classic case, on a sunny summer day when the ground gets hot and warms up the air immediately above it. As the hot air rises, cooler air descends to replace it. If conditions are right, strong updrafts can form that quickly move the warm, humid surface air up to the higher reaches of the troposphere, where the water vapor in the air cools and condenses to fall as rain (or ice, if it's cold enough). These updrafts are a hallmark of thunderstorms--the strong upward motion of the air encourages the interactions between water droplets and ice crystals that can lead to lightning. In winter, cold surface air temperatures and reduced sunlight mean there's less surface heating, less convection, and thus fewer opportunities for thunderstorms.

All that having been said, several weather scenarios are known to favor winter electrical storms. One type of thundersnow is caused by lake-effect weather conditions of the sort encountered around the Great Lakes and Utah's Great Salt Lake. In this case relatively warm lake water takes the place of sun-warmed ground. When a cold front passes over the water, strong convection currents can start, sending the moist air near the surface up into the colder atmosphere above. Another type, which is more common, occurs when a warm front containing a large amount of moisture moves in between cool surface air and even colder air above, creating a region of strong convection currents that starts well above the ground. This type of thundersnow is reported fairly often in the central Great Plains (Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and Missouri) as well as parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. A third type--I don't claim this list is exhaustive--sometimes occurs in mountainous regions when warm, moist air from a warm front is forced up a mountainside into the colder air at higher elevations.




posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:27 PM
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it's thundersnow.....ya, it's possible. seems to be getting more common though. but ya, we got the in NY occasionally...



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:46 PM
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Ah. Thanks for the link. Lake effect weather conditions is exactly what we have going here.

This storm came up from the US and passed over the great lakes picking up moisture to dump snow all along the St-Lawrence valley. There's a downside to living on a island in the middle of a river! The maritimes are going to get slammed!

Thundersnow... cool!
.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by Gools
 


Ah MAN!! I want some snow so bad. I'm here in the Tennessee valley and snow just doesn't like us here.

Enjoy it Gools and hope nothing bads happens because of the snow.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:56 PM
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We get that about once a winter here on the southern shore of Lake Erie. And nine times out of ten it seems to be a harbinger of some nasty precipitation being on its way.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:59 PM
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Well here in South West Michigan we've had about a foor in the last 24 hours. now the sun's shining and it's 32F.

mikell



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by Noscitare
... it seems to be a harbinger of some nasty precipitation being on its way.


Oh great... we've already had record snowfalls this month: linky

It's shaping up to be quite the winter, good thing I like to ski.

.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 01:03 PM
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Never really thought about it before ~ but I've never experienced that. Mind you don't hail storms often accompany lightning? that's lumpy snow (sorta).

Would make for an epic photo if you were in right place and time - fork lightning and winter wonderland and such.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 02:46 PM
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I've seen it happen in NY a few times too. It's pretty weird, but cool.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by Solarskye
Ah MAN!! I want some snow so bad. I'm here in the Tennessee valley and snow just doesn't like us here.


Probably because you're no longer part of the temperate zone where snow falls.
Earth's Tropics Belt Expands

Soon you'll be having Miami-like conditions



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 03:21 PM
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Happened here in southern Ont. about 8 years ago. Never saw it before and though WTF. I was driving home from a Leafs game. Woke up the next day to 2 feet of new snow. I hope you don't have big plans for tomorrow.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 


I believe that Beachcoma. The last good snow we had was in 1993 and it was a blizzard, but no snow since. I don't want tropical weather here, it gets to hot and muggy already. Thanks for the link Beachcoma.



posted on Dec, 24 2007 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by Gools
 


When we here in the south ( GA) get snow, it will sometimes come with thunder and lightning.....perhaps due to higher contrast in air mass temps here.

Our last big snowfall ( 18 inch drifts in my yard) was in '93, when the warm, moisture laden air blown up from the gulf met a sudden cold blast that dipped down from the north.....I awoke to the sounds thunder and the cracking pines.......



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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Just found your site as I was searching the Net for info on whether lightning during a snowstorm was actually possible,,,and I now know it is!
I'm from the UK,Cambridgeshire and we just had the worst snowfall in 18 years. We had about 6 inches overnight and I was watching it come down as light broke when I saw two consecutive lightning flashes but couldn't quite believe it WAS lightning...but it was!
Thanks guys...Patricia



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by frayed1
 


Who could ever forget "Winter Storm 93", as our local news affiliates labeled it.

Our school was cancelled for a solid week thanks to that storm. I lost power for almost three weeks. Like you said, I woke up to thunder and lightning at the crack of dawn. It was really weird seeing lighting bolt down in the middle of a blizzard. That storm really tested a lot of peoples ability to survive. I now have a hatred for powdered milk and white bread!



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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I saw the thundersnow in '93!!! I was engaged and my (then) fiance'(now husband) and I were running around(literally on foot) the roads at 4am. The sky flashed blue and thundered. It was so cool! It was like 4am.

I'd love to see it again, and, well, I'd love to be 24 again!! I doubt I would be running around at 4am anymore either



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 09:41 PM
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Violent electrical storm in Oklahoma early morning hours of the 4th was the most amazing and scary storm that I have ever been in. It started just as day broke and the I checked the online doppler and a range of storms had appeared out of nowhere, a thin bank going across the entire n to s diameter of the state. When I awoke, the thunder actually sounded like bombs going off that the flash of lightening would coorelate with the exact sound of the boom. The house would shake and the the ground would shake. The scary part was not only the geographical way that the storm showed itself in the state, but also that the lightening was so intense and that their was no rolling thunder up in the sky. It was just the clap noises that came from the ligtening bolt hitting the ground. When I looked out the window, there was no clouds over my house, just a weird fog. It was spooky. I grew up in Oklahoma but I have also lived for about 10 years in the mountains of Arizona. I have never, never seen any type of storm like this before. I think something different is going on and I definitely think that we need to understand lightening better for the future. These storms are getting more violent and man have developed no way to be safe from these electrical bombs dropping from the sky.



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