Milk Maid

The Thunder Snows

The thunder rolls

And the lightnin’ strikes

Another love grows cold

On a sleepless night

As the storm blows on

Out of control

Deep in her heart

The thunder rolls

This country classic song, The Thunder Rolls, by Garth Brooks, contains lyrics that can accurately depict a thunderstorm. However, I think the lyrics need a little tweaking.

The thunder rolls

And the lightnin’ strikes

The snow flakes fall

It grows cold

On a sleepless night

As the snowstorm blows on

Way out of control

Stuck deep in the ditch

The thunder snows

On Monday, we experienced a rare and unusual phenomenon loosely called, “thundersnow.”

I was woken up around 2:30 on Monday morning to thunder and saw a few flashes of lightning. I like the sound of thunderstorms at night, until my dog Pixie hears it too. She is terrified of thunder.

If there is one thing I enjoy about winter, it’s that there is no thunder to scare Pixie.

Fast forward a few hours, I was feeding my baby calves, it was still thundering and lightning, but then it decided to start snowing. The baby calves had never heard or seen thunder or lightning so they were startled, but then thought catching snow flakes was kind of fun.

I thought it was so, so weird. I wasn’t the only one who thought that. When I was snowed in and scrolling through my social media sites, there were many videos and comments about the March “thundersnow.”

It was so widely reported, that when I pulled up on my phone the Minnesota 511 app, which is the app I use to check road conditions, it showed little thunder and lightning symbols over most of southern Minnesota.

It was weird to see that along with snow packed roads. According to the Weather Channel, thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thundersnowstorm, is an unusual kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain.

According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Jacob Beitlich, who is based in the Twin Cities, for thundersnow to happen, there has to be atmospheric instability, fast winds and updrafts.

“That is just a testament to how powerful this system (Monday’s storm) is,” Beitlich said.

“In order to get thunder, you need instability so that the air can rise and create a thundercloud. You don’t get that usually in the winter.”

“Thundersnow is a pretty rare thing, it doesn’t happen too often,” Beitlich said.

It’s also common for hail to be part of the thundersnowstorm. I saw photos from friends in South Dakota that had hail before they got dumped on with snow.

The first time I ever experienced thundersnow was when I was in the Black Hills. I had never heard of thundersnow and didn’t believe it when it was happening.

It was bizarre and is something you’ll never forget, just like Monday’s storm. I’m hoping that Garth Brooks comes out with a winter remix of his hit song.

He should call it, The Thunder Snows.

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