Some of the most famous (well, probably the only famous) clips from The Weather Channel's years of coverage are courtesy of Jim Cantore going insane whenever he sees thundersnow during a blizzard. Cantore saw thundersnow six times during a series of live shots in Boston last night, and his reaction is amazing.
During the most intense snowstorms—including blizzards like the one that hit New England on Saturday night, as well as lake effect snow on the Great Lakes—the lift in the atmosphere can be so great that it will create thunderstorms. Convection is typically a warm-weather process (as it requires warm air lifting through colder air), but intense blizzards can have such strong dynamic processes that the storm can force the rapid lifting of air, creating intense snow bands accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Since it requires the right combination of intense atmospheric processes, thundersnow is exceedingly rare, and it's even more rare to catch on film. Leave it to Jim Cantore to find it six times in one night. Experiencing thundersnow is on the bucket list of most weather geeks (mine included), and the way Jim's face lights up and he runs around whooping and hollering is a common reaction among those who are passionate about the weather.
This storm produced 16.3" of snow at Boston's Logan Airport, pushing the city to its second snowiest winter on record, with 98.9" so far this season (with most of that falling in the past month). The city is less than nine inches away from seeing its snowiest winter ever recorded, and it's likely that we'll exceed that point before the season is over.
[Video via The Weather Channel/YouTube]