NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There are many types of winter weather and most of us are familiar with snow, freezing rain, and sleet. Sometimes winter storms mean a winter wonderland while in other cases it’s a cold slushy mess. However, there are some winter weather events that are just plain weird. Let’s take a closer look at the weirdest winter weather.
Snownado: While this may sound like something from a bad science fiction movie, snownadoes do exist, but they are incredibly rare. Only captured on camera six times, very specific conditions need to be in place for these to form. A colder air mass needs to pass over a warmer surface heated by sunlight, and a low-level wind shear or colliding air currents need to be present to get the air to spin.
Snow Rollers: Snow rollers are essentially rolls of snow. They form with light but sticky snow and strong winds. Some snow rollers are formed by gravity (i.e. rolling down a hill).
Frost Flowers: Frost flowers occur when thin layers of ice are extruded from long-stemmed plants in autumn or early winter. They are rare but beautiful. They also occur right here in Middle Tennessee!
Thundersnow: Ever notice that when it snows, it gets very quiet? Snow dampens noise leading to peaceful quiet after a big snowstorm. However, on occasion, there will be enough upward motion during a snowstorm to lead to lightning!
Snow in the Desert: While snow in the desert isn’t uncommon at higher elevations, it doesn’t usually happen in the Sahara Desert. In January of 2018, snow blanketed parts of the Sahara. Sand dunes with a dusting of snow made for an incredible sight.