During the powerful blizzard storm, many of us experience thundersnow and even thundersleet, but what is it?
Thundersnow is basically a winter thunderstorm that drops snow or sleet instead of rain. These thundersnows can develop in three different ways...
1) A normal thunderstorm that has formed over warm air enters into a winter environment or moves into a colder airmass making the precipitation change over to snow.
2) A strong snowstorm that sustains strong vertical mixing which allows for conditions for lightning to occur.
3) During lake effect or ocean effect thunderstorms which are produced by cold air passing over relatively warm water.
Many of our thundersnows did start in the warmer air of Nebraska and Iowa and moved northward into the colder environment of the storm system.
Even at one point, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for a thundersnow in Minnesota. That county was under a Blizzard Warning at the same time of the Severe Thunderstorm Warning.
The hazards still remain with thundersnow as it does for a thunderstorm. Getting struck by lightning is still a real possibly. Other hazards included an increase in snowfall rates with an average of two to four inches per hour. This also creates visibilities issues from the enhance snowfall.
Rare as they are, hopefully you got to enjoy them in a safe place.