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Thread: lightning and snow?

  1. #1 lightning and snow? 
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    Well... i live in Canada and get snow every winter! But I have yet to see lightning or hear thunder when it snows. What prevents lightning from occuring in clouds of snow?


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  3. #2  
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    -last year where i live we had thunder and lightning during a heavy snow fall, it was kinda crazy


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  4. #3  
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    Usually when it snows the air is very dry, (all the noisture is in the snowflakes) you need moist air for a thunderstorm, very very moist. There are of course rare exceptions.

    That's my understanding anyway.
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    Snowflakes are pretty fragile things, and winds in thunderstorms are supposed to be pretty violent. I'd think it'd be hard for a snowflake to reach enough of a size to fall under gravity without being broken up by the wind first. Just guessing though.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny
    -last year where i live we had thunder and lightning during a heavy snow fall, it was kinda crazy
    -it was last year about a week before this time when i was outside during this storm
    -it was crazy it was snowing really hard at first, then all at once it starting thundering and lightning was going off. But the lightning didnt touch down and seemed confined to up in the cloud. But when it went off it was extremly f@@@@@@bright
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny
    -last year where i live we had thunder and lightning during a heavy snow fall, it was kinda crazy
    -it was last year about a week before this time when i was outside during this storm
    -it was crazy it was snowing really hard at first, then all at once it starting thundering and lightning was going off. But the lightning didnt touch down and seemed confined to up in the cloud. But when it went off it was extremly f@@@@@@bright
    What you saw was sheet lightning which happens between clouds, as opposed to fork lightning which happens between cloud and earth. I have lived through many storms in my 27 years, I have only EVER seen fork lightning (in real life) once in my life, and that was about a year ago whilst I was on a bus. It was beautiful.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Matt
    Snowflakes are pretty fragile things, and winds in thunderstorms are supposed to be pretty violent. I'd think it'd be hard for a snowflake to reach enough of a size to fall under gravity without being broken up by the wind first. Just guessing though.
    I don't think this is right because that would mean it would be raining in the snowy part of winter which I have yet to see. Megabrain's answer sounded good though.
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    snowflakes asre blown around by the wind, the differential air pressure acoss a snowflake is not likely to be enough to damage it.

    The same is true of hot air ballooons, If you have ever ridden in one you will know that you do not feel the wind however breezy it might be,
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  10. #9  
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    really? You don't feel the wind when your in an air balloon? I guess it makes sense because you would be blown around with the wind but I thought you would still feel it a bit.
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  11. #10  
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    I came across this article which will help us to know more.... Do read it.
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  12. #11  
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    i think lightening is caused due to excess of electrons which come down to earth through air. Moist air serves better conductor than dry air. So it does not usually find it in cold areas rather than moist and humid places.
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    www.wvlightning.com
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by anand_kapadia
    i think lightening is caused due to excess of electrons which come down to earth through air. Moist air serves better conductor than dry air. So it does not usually find it in cold areas rather than moist and humid places.
    Visit
    www.wvlightning.com
    Electrons will not come all the way down from the sky to the earth, they are exchanged, albeit very quickly between atoms, starting in the ionized atoms. Moist air helps of course as water is a (slightly) better conductor. However lightning is a static charge. (It has no amps) But is of extremely high voltage and when you hear the sound of thunder, it is the rapid expansion of air that you are hearing due to the high temperatures emitted caused by all of the electrons jumping from one atom to the next.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    Quote Originally Posted by anand_kapadia
    i think lightening is caused due to excess of electrons which come down to earth through air. Moist air serves better conductor than dry air. So it does not usually find it in cold areas rather than moist and humid places.
    Visit
    www.wvlightning.com
    Electrons will not come all the way down from the sky to the earth, they are exchanged, albeit very quickly between atoms, starting in the ionized atoms. Moist air helps of course as water is a (slightly) better conductor. However lightning is a static charge. (It has no amps) But is of extremely high voltage and when you hear the sound of thunder, it is the rapid expansion of air that you are hearing due to the high temperatures emitted caused by all of the electrons jumping from one atom to the next.
    vist:-
    http://www.physics4kids.com/files/elec_intro.html
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  15. #14  
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    hi guys,

    Sorry, i think i'm abit slow in the thread.

    Anyway, is kind of interesting knowing that Canda has least amount of thunder and lightening when comes to winter.

    I think I've raised a questions with regards to lightening happening in Australia. I've been in Australia (victoria) for a couple of years, but i've yet to hear any thunder. Hence, i've done abit of research to ease my curiosity. But theortically, it does states that lightening is always accompany by thunder. But over here, i can see lightening, but i could not hear thunder.
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  16. #15  
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    That is probably because it is too far away and the sound waves get longer and longer until they die out.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  17. #16  
    ert
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    I wish at least I could hear thunder at least 1 out of 10 thunders.
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  18. #17  
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    Megabrain had it close.

    There isn't enough energy in cold air, due to the low amount of water vapor that can be held, to create lightning for most snow events. For the same reasons most snow events don't involve any vertical convection.

    That being said, it takes particular strong forcing to create enough energy to produce lightning--I've seen lightning in snow squalls during a strong frontal passage, and during a lake effect storms.

    The size of the snow flakes probably doesn't have any effect. Most snow was super-cooled liquid just a few thousand feet above the ground.

    Ray
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