We've heard of thundersnow, but never had we heard of someone actually getting hit by lightning during a snowstorm.
But that unlikely phenomenon happened on Wednesday in New Jersey, when a middle school teacher was struck by lightning.
Don't worry though, it's never happened to anyone in Minnesota.
"We are unaware of anyone in Minnesota ever being struck by lightning during a snowstorm," Meteorologist Alexandra Keclik told GoMN in an email.
Keclik then reached out to the Minnesota State Climatology Office and they hadn't heard of anyone getting hit by lightning during a snow event either.
"We have not heard of it, but of course it is possible," said Kenneth Blumenfeld, a Senior Climatologist with the DNR. "Although everyone here always talks about the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, a different foot-plus storm on Black Friday that year was more impressive in many ways, including its electrification."
"Some observers noted up to 10 separate instances of lightning, including isolated CG (cloud-to-ground lightning) reports. The Jan. 22, 1982 monster also would have been a solid candidate for CG and potential impacts."
Blumenfeld added that lightning striking people in the winter is rare for three reasons.
- Winter storms with that much energy are rare.
- Even during thundersnow, cloud-to-ground strikes are uncommon.
- Fewer people are outside during thundersnow.
The teacher hit by lightning in New Jersey experienced tingling but didn't suffer any life-threatening injuries.