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Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

Thundersnow: Winter storm could arrive with a bang

By Cindy Heflin

If you hear a few rumbles of thunder early Friday morning, don’t think you’ve imagined it. The snowstorm headed toward Ann Arbor may include the relatively rare phenomenon of thundersnow.

The rapid upward movement of air can charge particles during a snowstorm, creating lightning and thunder, said Bryan Tilley, a National Weather Service meteorologist in White Lake Township. It’s essentially the same thing that happens during a summer storm. It just happens a lot less frequently in the winter.

Tilley said only a few rumbles of thunder are expected, and they’re most likely to occur during the height of the storm, now expected to come between 3 and 9 a.m. Friday.

The weather service has issued a winter storm warning for Washtenaw County effective from 10 p.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. Friday. Tilley said the storm will start off with rain in the Ann Arbor area early Thursday evening. The rain will mix with snow later before changing over to all snow around 10 p.m.

The weather service expects a total snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches in the Ann Arbor area by midday Friday. Blowing snow may continue to make travel hazardous throughout the day Friday.

You can watch a video of Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore being surprised by thundersnow below:



Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

Seems it arrived with a thud.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

Thunder my rear-end..... it's the Martians.

Smart Logic

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

Thunder, thunder, ThunderSnow, HOOOOO!


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:36 a.m.

More ridiculous than his reaction to the thundersnow is that stupid smart car behind him.