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Thunder snow

Posted by ESC on January 16, 2003

They are predicting "thunder snow" for central Kentucky. I'd never heard of that. You? A friend found this online:

"Lightning, Thunder and SNOW

What is Thunder Snow? Last time I explained how frigid air flowing over the unfrozen waters of Lake Michigan can create lake effect snow showers. When it comes to lightning and thunder, you probably think of spring and summer thunderstorms. You're not likely to envision lightning during a snowstorm but it can happen, although not very often. When it does, it's often in and around the Great Lakes. To get things started you need convection, which is the up and down movement of air. In every thunderstorm negative and positive charges need to be separated to build an electrical field that's strong enough to create lightning. If the temperature contrast between the cold air and the warm water of the lake is large enough, you get lake effect snow. The more violent the convection is, the greater the likelihood of lightning and thunder while it's snowing. While we have no hard scientific evidence there may be, at the very least, a link between thunder snow and extremely high snowfall accumulations. I personally lived through one such thunder snowstorm a few years ago and had almost FIVE FEET of snow when it was all over. If you wish to know more about thunder snow, click on the link below.
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wlakeeff.htm "