'Thundersnow' wakens Utahns during snow squall

Posted at 6:21 AM, Feb 28, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — If you were woken up in the middle of the night - you weren't alone. Many Utahns were jolted awake to "thundersnow," a combination of - you guessed it - thunder and snow.

The thundersnow, as well as graupel, were reported as a snow squall moved through the northern Wasatch Front in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Residents mostly in Davis County reported hearing the thunder, with some in Salt Lake and Utah counties also saying they were woken up due to the stormy weather.

Utah's Weather Authority Mitchell Zimny recorded a video from Syracuse at around 2 a.m. and said the squall "got pretty intense at times."

In the video, thunder is heard and lightning is seen as a fresh layer of snow blankets the ground.

Thundersnow in Syracuse

David Lawrence also captured the squall with a photo that showed a wall of clouds and snow. He took the photo in Magna while looking toward Bountiful.


The National Weather Service explained "thundersnow" happens when shallow layers of unstable air lead to enhanced upward motion, which causes enough electric charge separation for lightning! It also makes for some more snow to fall.