LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Thunder is a common occurrence in the summers, but on rare occasions, it can come with intense bursts of snow in the winter.

On average, thundersnow only happens 6.3 times a year and can occur in three different situations.

The occurrence of thundersnow in lake-effect systems is most pertinent to Michiganders, after all, Michigan is the Great lakes State,

Thundersnow is often seen off of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario because the two are the shallowest of the lakes, so they heat up quicker in the summer compared to the others, and we need that heat to generate instability within our system.

Firstly, there must be cold air from a lake-effect system blowing along the lake.

If this happens at the right angle, that air can travel up to 240 miles before reaching land, and the longer that system is over the water, the stronger it gets.

The warm air that exists over the lake is lifted up into the atmosphere, around 15,000 to 20,000 feet into a storm cloud. Then, the heat is sometimes able to separate the positive and negative charges that exist within our storm cloud, which creates a thundersnow.

Now if you were to experience thundersnow it normally comes along with intense snowfall rates, so it’s not only hard to see the lightning flashes but to hear the thunder as well.

If you find yourself experiencing thundersnow, keep in mind that while rare, thundersnow is just as dangerous as a regular old summertime thunderstorm.