This afternoon I’ve been working at home during our first snowstorm of the season. About half hour ago I was startled by a flash of light–muted but very distinct–that seemed to come from outside. Then, a second or two later, there was thunder.

Cunning naturalist that I am, I turned to google to figure out what was going on, and soon discovered the term "thundersnow." According to wikipedia, "Thundersnow is a particularly rare meteorological phenomenon that includes the typical behavior of a thunderstorm but with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain." And I read elsewhere that ir usually precedes a short burst of very heavy snow. Apparently some scientists have been studying this affect to better understand why it happens.  

This picture of the view from window hints at the whiteout we have, but conditions have actually worsened in the last few minutes, such that now the wind has blown enough snow up against the window to obscure the view almost entirely.

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