Rare 'thundersnow' strikes southwestern Ontario

(QMI Agency file photo)

(QMI Agency file photo)

Dale Carruthers, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. — A rare weather phenomenon called a thundersnow struck London late Monday night.

The sky was already white with snow flurries when a flash of light lit up the night. Seconds later, the booming sound of thunder shattered the night silence. All the while, snowflakes continued to fall.

And just like that, it was over, leaving Londoners questioning whether what they'd just seen and heard actually happened.

Environment Canada says what happened in London around 11:15 p.m. Monday night was real.

"It's called a thundersnow. It's rare, though," Environment Canada meteorologist David Phillips said.

The phenomenon occurs during a thunderstorm where snow is the dominant type of precipitation.

Areas around Great Lakes are among the most likely places on Earth for a thundersnow to occur.

Minutes after the thundersnow struck, social media was abuzz with people questioning if lightning and thunder were possible in the middle of a February snowstorm.


Videos

Photos