People were feeling the thunder in New York City on Wednesday, as the Big Apple was hit with snow amid a nor'easter.
“Thundersnow” was reported in Lower Manhattan, the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed in a tweet Wednesday.
People along the storm's path took to Twitter to report the rare weather phenomenon and indicate they had heard it in different parts of the city. Some users say thundersnow also reached New Jersey.
"Flash of light then big boom. #thundersnow I thought it was a truck ... but NOPE. Saw/heard for first time. Pretty cool," one Twitter user wrote.
"Got thundersnow in Woodbridge, New Jersey! Big flash followed by a loud boom," another added.
NWS Boston confirmed people at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey also heard loud booms.
What is thundersnow?
“Although thunderstorms are less common in the winter, sometimes lightning can occur within snowstorms and is called thundersnow,” the National Oceanic and Atmsopheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory says online. “Thundersnow can be found where there is relatively strong instability and abundant moisture above the surface, such as above a warm front.”
NWS meteorologist Faye Morrone told amNewYork it's a "rare treat" for New Yorkers, but it's also a sign that the storm is strong.
“It’s the exact same thing that we experience in the summer with a thunder storm,” Morrone told the newspaper. “It’s just that because it’s winter and there’s snow, we get thundersnow.”
How does it work?
The NWS tweeted an infographic about thundersnow on Wednesday.
“Shallow layers of unstable air lead to enhanced upward motion, increasing snow growth and causing enough electric charge separation for lightning,” it explained.