The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Friday, December 19, 2008, 9:46 a.m.

Thunder, snow make wild combo

Thunder snow -- it sounds like a 1980s rock band, or something that could happen at a monster truck rally.
It's real. And if you hear it, meteorologists recommend you run for cover.
"We are able to get thunder accompanied by snow," Dennis D'Amico, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Seattle, said Thursday.
Thunder snow was reported occurring in the skies above the central Puget Sound area this morning. It remains in the forecast.
The same unstable air conditions that cause a thunder storm in the summer months can happen in winter, D'Amico said. And like a summer thunder show, thunder snow can dump a load of snow fast. Sometimes there's a flash of lightning, too.
"We call it one-hit wonders," he said. "One blip of lightning lights up the screen and that's it."
A forecast on the National Weather Services's Web site Thursday morning included this bit about thunder snow over the Puget Sound convergence zone: "There was some thunder snow during the wee hours in this convergence area ... Cannot rule out more thunder snow. If you hear thunder ... You are about to get dumped on."
In fact, it already happened in King County on Thursday morning.
"I heard it myself over north Seattle," D'Amico said.
A grumble woke him about 5:30 a.m.
"I wasn't sure if that's what it was, but other people have confirmed it," he said.
Thunder snow was the talk of the office at the National Weather Service office Thursday morning. It's rare. One meteorologist remembered thunder snow last happening in 1990 in Seattle. Another remembered a Snohomish County event last spring.
The Everett area was forecast to receive a half an inch more of snow Thursday night, according to the weather service. Today and Saturday are expected to be clear and cold.
Story tags » EverettSnow


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