BOSTON (CBS) – The first official blizzard in Boston in more than two years brought “an exceptional amount of thundersnow” according to WBZ-TV Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher.
“This was a storm unlike one I can remember in a while,” Fisher said.
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During the storm Thursday, there were 120 cloud to ground lightning strikes across southern New England, blowing away the number of strikes during similar storms in the past four years.
What creates thundersnow?
“It’s the same process as in the summer – you need unstable air. It’s just a lot harder to do in the wintertime,” Fisher explains. “You need a storm that’s really deepening quickly. You need just the right amount of lift to create that lightning and thunder.”
The lightning strikes can be just as dangerous as in the summertime. In Warwick, Rhode Island Thursday, a tree was split by a possible lightning strike, which then blew a hole in the side of a house.
The storm brought more than 12 inches of snow to Boston. A blizzard warning was in effect for eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island and Connecticut until 8 p.m.