Some of the country is batting down the hatches in preparation for what may be a historic snow storm this weekend. The word that is being thrown around in reports and forecasts is “Thundersnow.” This is known as a winter thunderstorm or a thundersnowstorm, is an unusual kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It typically falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone.
This wintry blast is pushing through the Cincinnati area Saturday, and rain will transition into snow late Saturday. Cold rain will turn into an icy mix or snow Saturday afternoon, and as temperatures plunge into the evening, gusty winds could bring whiteout conditions.
This is the perfect recipe for something called thundersnow.
WLWT meteorologist Randi Rico said an ideal time for a thundersnow in Cincinnati area will be between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday, when whiteout conditions and gusty winds will be widespread.
Thundersnow is an incredible incredible sight because lightning reflects off the snow and is blindingly bright. Conditions are more favorable for a thundersnow in the southern communities. It may be seen as far south as the Louisville, KY area.
The most common way thundersnow can develop is when warmer, moist air close to the ground mixes with colder air up higher. That combination causes friction, and results in thunder and lightning.
It’s also hard to know when thundersnow is happening. Snow often suppresses thunder and lightning, so unless the thunder and lightning is nearby, it may be tough to notice.
Do you think the forecasts are right? Are we going to see a storm of historic proportions? How much of the country do you think will be effected by this Thunderstorm?
Have you ever experienced Thundersnow before? Share your experience with our readers in the comment section below this article.