On Tuesday evening, the snow was falling hard and I thought I heard a rumble of thunder. Is that possible?
Actually thunder occured with the burst of snow. This is a somewhat rare occurence, but the strongest of cold fronts have the potential to produce thunder. The process is almost the same as a summertime thunderstorm. Relatively warm air is found near the surface compared to cold air at high altitudes. This leads to strong vertical motions that push air upward and downward. The movement can lead to thunder and even a rare bolt of lightning. When this happens you can bet there will be a very heavy burst of snow that may lead to extremely low visibilities. Thunderstorms that form in winter are weak and short-lived.