Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thunder Snow?

OK...I remember once when I was little girl hearing thunder during a blizzard we were experiencing in New York. It really freaked me out. I didn't know that could happen.

Well, today the weather men are talking about "thunder snow" which may happen during the big snow they are predicting to start tonight. I guess, there was some thunder snow during the snow storm we had after Christmas recently. When there is thunder snow we could see as much as 3 to 6 inches of snow in one hour!!!! WOW!

So, what is thundersnow, really?

I found this explanation on the Internet:

As a storm cloud gathers up warmer air (such as air over a lake or ocean surface), the air rises in the cloud's structure and creates a churning of air masses within the cloud. This turbulence mixes snow crystals and supercooled water droplets in the cloud and the turbulence knocks off electrons from the water particles, causing positive and negative charges in the cloud to separate.
The negative charges collect at the base of the cloud and are attracted to positive charges either on the ground or in nearby clouds. As the negative charges rush toward the positive charges, the positive charges rise and meet them and this creates a bolt of lightning. The lightning heats the air to about 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the air to quickly expand. The air then cools and contracts, creating a "clap" of thunder.
That's what scientists believe happens, anyway. It's roughly the same process involved in creating a regular thunderstorm.

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