Past IEM Features tagged: thundersnow
The most recent winter storm produced thundersnow, which is the combination of lightning and thunder with falling snow. This phenomena is a sign of intense lift within a storm producing snowfall and a general forecasting rule of thumb is to forecast 10+ inches of snow once you experience thundersnow. The featured graphic displays recent reports of thundersnow from airport weather stations along with the event snowfall for that period. Putting aside the reliability issues of how thundersnow is actually reported by the sensors, the snowfall totals do not always reach 10 inches. Also, most folks in Des Moines witnessed thundersnow, but it was not reported by the routine and special observations made at the airport.