When you think of a snowstorm or a blizzard like we're getting currently, you typically don't expect to hear rumbles of thunder. But a local meteorologist has confirmed that thunder was heard in Illinois in the midst of this blizzard.

B100 logo
Get our free mobile app

The shortened term for thunder that occurs during a snowstorm is thundersnow. Sometimes referred to as  a winter thunderstorm or a thundersnowstorm, thundersnow is a rare weather phenomenon that happened right here in the Quad Cities.

attachment-Illinois Thunder Snow

Thundersnow for meteorologist is like finding a $100 bill in your pants. It feels like it never happens but when it does, oh boy. To explain what thundersnow is, KWQC-TV6 meteorologist Kyle Kiel spoke with me during a busy weather week. Plus he gives us some updates about the blizzard and a look at the extremely cold temperatures that follows.

Thundersnow Confirmed In Illinios

Thundersnow was confirmed in by two meteorologist. The first occurrence was right here in the Quad Cities and was confirmed by TV6 meteorologist Kyle Kiel who explains more  about thundersnow shortly.

The second time that thundersnow was confirmed and seem was by Jim Cantore who was just here in the Quad Cities. Jim saw lightning during the snowstorm in Chicago during a live shot.

As you can see by Jim's reaction, thundersnow is something that meteorologist and people rarely spot.

Jim Cantore was in Davenport during the first snowstorm of the week on Tuesday, Jan. 9th.

With thundersnow become a buzzword as of this week, I thought it would be a good idea to find out exact what it is, how it forms, and how rare it is.

What Is Thundersnow & How Rare Is It?

My friend Kyle Kiel, a meteorologist with the KWQC-TV6 First Alert Weather Team spoke with me to explain what thundersnow is.


Kyle says that just like thunder and lightning during a thunderstorm in the spring and winter, thundersnow forms the same. Cooler air at the surface and warm air rising up causing positive and negative charges that gives us thunderstorm that produces snow.

Kyle pointed out that the thundersnow produces more snow than your typical snowstorm. If you were in Geneseo or Princeton, you got more snow than the rest of the Quad Cities. Kyle also gave us an update on the extremely cold temperatures that follow this blizzard. Take a listen below.

Thanks Kyle!

LOOK: Best colleges in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best colleges in Illinois using rankings from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Essential Winter Emergency Kit Items

Winter season in the Quad Cities means cold temperatures, heavy snow, and slick roads. Hopefully, you won't ever need to tap into your winter emergency kit, but it's better to have one in your car than to be unprepared. Make sure you have these essential items in your car before winter arrives in the Quad Cities.

Gallery Credit: Connor Kenney/Townsquare Media Quad Cities

More From B100