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Can it thunder and lightning during a snow storm?

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Why is there sometimes thunder in a snowstorm? . Thunder and lighting sometimes happen in a snowstorm, although it is somewhat rare, said Fred Gadomski, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University. In fact, he said, the biggest snowstorm are those marked by thunder and lightning, a phenomenon meteorologists call "thunder snow." Most "regular" thunderstorms are summer events in which warm, moist air in the lower atmosphere has very cold air over it, Mr. Gadomski said. In this unstable system, upward drafts of air create thunderstorms. The turbulence created by such a storm somehow establishes a separation of areas of positive and negative electrical charges, Mr. Gadomski said, and when a lightning bolt tries to even out the difference, there is a clap of thunder. Thunder, he explained, is the sound generated when the lightning bolt heats the atmosphere near it very rapidly to a temperature higher than the sun's surface. The fast expansion of the air creates a sonic boom, he said. ... more
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