Weather Truth or Myth: In winter, it will snow one week after th -

Weather Truth or Myth: In winter, it will snow one week after thunder.

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Snowy, icy road conditions for Upstate S.C. Snowy, icy road conditions for Upstate S.C.
With our relatively active winter weather pattern, I’ve seen the statement about “it will snow one week after thunder” more than a few times.  Well, some use ten days instead of seven, but you get the point.

Weather truth or weather myth?

Well, how about a myth with some truth behind it?

To prove the myth: on Saturday, December 11 we had a line of thunderstorms push through the GSP area in the morning.  Even one tornado warning was issued for part of the Upstate.  So…since it was winter…it should have snowed seven days (or ten days, depending on your belief) later.  Well, it eventually snowed…on Tuesday, December 28, basically two and a half weeks after thunder.

The truth behind the myth: if we’re getting thunderstorms in the winter, that’s usually an indication of an active weather pattern.  Those storms will likely occur ahead of a strong cold front.  The front then sets the stage for cooler weather that might stick around.  Anytime in winter you have cooler weather in place and an active weather pattern…there will be a potential for winter weather to develop.

The folklore probably developed around people’s recollection of snow events.  Snowfall that occurs shortly after spring-like weather is more likely to stick in people’s minds.  ”Can you imagine…we just had storms last week, and it’s snowing now!”  No one sits around and remembers the times that snow did not occur after storms!

Will it snow a week to ten days after thunder?  There’s nothing in nature that holds winter weather on a seven to ten day delay after we get storms…so it’s pretty much dumb luck.  Snow can occur seven to ten days after thunder.  It can occur three days later.  It can occur three weeks later.  It can occur at the same time!

So the next time you hear winter thunder, feel free to start counting days.  It might just be a week until snow falls.  Don't be shocked if it's not.

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