Will it snow in 7-14 days?
Last week saw multiple storms, downed trees, flooding, and even tornado warnings. These types of storms are not uncommon in mid-January – and according to an ancient legend, hearing thunder in winter means it will definitely snow in 7 to 10 days.
There’s certainly a slight chance of snow — or a wintry mix in some places — in parts of North Carolina on Tuesday.
How true is the proverb: If it thunders in winter, it will soon snow?
I heard thunder, and a few days later, snow appeared in the forecast. Many of us here in North Carolina have experienced this and take it as proof that the old adage must have some truth to it.
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, this proverb is true about 70% of the time, especially along the East Coast and in the plains.
To simplify, that’s because winter storms are often caused by a large dip and surge in the jet stream — and this rush of cold air, combined with unstable weather patterns, means that by the time the next system arrives, it could still be… It is possible that this is so. Cold enough to cause the next system’s precipitation to fall as snow instead of rain.
North Carolina’s climate office also supported this reasoning, writing: “It makes sense given that weather systems generally take about a week to move across the country, so another strong cold front system that produces thunderstorms would likely follow.” Within the next ten days.”
How many times does it snow within 10 days after thunder in winter in North Carolina?
The North Carolina State Climatology Office shared research in 2013, when they looked for all reports of thunderstorms or lightning between December and March from six weather stations across the state.
Since the 1940s, they have found 642 instances of winter storms, thunder or lightning. Among those cases, they found that snow fell within 7 to 10 days about 85 times. This means that since the 1940s, there has been a 13% success rate of snow falling within 7 to 10 days of a storm or thunderstorm.
“This represents a 1 in 7 chance and is far from certain,” they wrote.
The North Carolina Climate Office also looked at data related to other North Carolina winter folklore, such as whether or not Banner Elk woolly worms can predict the winter forecast.
So where did this folklore originate? This could be because there is some level of scientific explanation for the possibility of snow falling so soon after Winter Thunder, or because there was at least a historical chance of snow falling after the storm.
Or maybe it’s because we think thunder might mean snow, so we pay attention, and when it thunders, we remember.
Do you remember some of North Carolina’s most historic snowstorms?
As for this week, at least a little snow is expected in parts of North Carolina within 7 to 10 days of the storm. Only time will tell if this folklore is true or not.
Meanwhile, did you know that downtown Raleigh was unexpectedly “caught in the grip of the greatest blizzard” in April 1915? Heavy snow shut down our trolley system and shut down telegraph communications.
Remember when Glenwood Avenue became nationally famous because of the Snowmageddon meme of broken down vehicles and fires in the background?
And while you’re craving snow this winter, take a look at some of Raleigh’s most memorable and memorable snowstorms in North Carolina history.