Thundersnow is a rare weather phenomenon that usually occurs in very heavy snow bands or blizzards.
Thundersnow is caused when there is enough instability in the atmosphere that it leads to an area where the air rises quickly, usually in association with a powerful low pressure system.
These strong updrafts create low-topped "snow-thunderstorms," which precipitate very heavy snow.
In other words, these are regular thunderstorms that produce snow instead of rain due to colder temperatures near the surface.
If the snow falls heavy enough, static electricity is built up and the discharge of that energy is lightning.
This can be in the form of cloud-to-cloud lightning or cloud-to-ground lightning.
In snowstorms, snow acts as a sound suppressor. Because of this, the thunder from lightning in a snowstorm is only heard over short distances.
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