Pouring Thundersnow

There was thundersnow in Toronto on January 20, 2013 and in parts of the U.S. this week. I didn’t know. Maybe I was sleeping or don’t spend enough time outside during snowstorms.  I’m loving snow but today is more slush and I lament it wasn’t a big white pile outside as predicted but a soupy pre-skating rink mess of snow and rain. Hail snow anyways.

Thundersnow is rare and can be treacherous. In Missouri this week thundersnow ‘poured’ like rain, 5cm an hour. Two people lost their lives during a thundersnow in the U.S. midwest, so it is not all poetic. Weather is never one thing or another.

intimisteblogspot thundersnow 2011

Here’s a thundersnow description from National Geo News, Christine Dell’Amore

“Thundersnow—when thunder and lighting occur during a snowstorm—most often appears in late winter or early spring, experts say.

That’s because the ingredients for thundersnow—a mass of cold air on top of warm, plus moist air closer to the ground—often come together during that time.

What Causes Thundersnow

Thundersnow starts out like a summer thunderstorm, Market said. The sun heats the ground and pushes masses of warm, moist air upward, creating unstable air columns.

As it rises, the moisture condenses to form clouds, which are jostled by internal turbulence.

The “tricky part” for making thundersnow, Market said, is creating that atmospheric instability in the wintertime.

For thundersnow to occur, the air layer closer to the ground has to be warmer than the layers above, but still cold enough to create snow—a very precise circumstance.”

A Thundersnow mix on soundcloud for you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *