Have you seen a flash of lightning and heard a rumble of thunder in the winter? If so, then you have experienced thundersnow. In the U.S., less than ten storms per year produce thundersnow!
Most snow storms form when warmer air is lifted over cooler air. If the warm air rises quickly, the condensing moisture collides with existing particles in the cloud causing electrically charged areas. When a cloud has charged areas, lightning can result. The accompanying sound is why we call these thundersnow storms.
Use the following lesson and animated video from UNC-TV to teach students about this rare winter weather phenomenon while introducing them to air masses, fronts, storms, and the water cycle!