We always say that the track of any storm is important as to how much snow we get. The track is also important in determining what type of precipitation will fall and the intensity of the event.
This Thursday an intense storm will pass just to the southeast of Minnesota. This track places us in the prime position for mostly snow; however, some sleet may fall before the heavy cement like snow begins. Also, the position of the storm system means that the strongest dynamics of the system will be close enough to produce convection -- in other words, thunder and lightning, hence "Thundersnow".
Here is the Storm Prediction Center's convective outlook for Thursday with Southeast Minnesota, along with parts of Wisconsin, in the green shaded area, meaning thunder is possible.
"Thundersnow" is the name given to a snow storm that is accompanied by thunder and lightning. This is rare in the winter as we need to cold at the surface for snow but warmer than the air above us to get enough lift for convection.
However, when the right conditions are met, thunder and lightning can be produced during a winter snow storm. Since the snow can muffle the sound of thunder, you're more likely to notice it if you are within 3 miles of the lightning strike. This Thursday, especially off to our southeast, that is a possibility, so keep an ear out for "Thundersnow".
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Read more: More Snow Eyeing Minnesota and Wisconsin Thursday - KMSP-TV http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/24757589/more-snow-eyeing-minnesota-and-wisconsin-thursday#ixzz2tner1IwZ