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Winter Storm Quinn Unleashes Rare Thundersnow on New York

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Winter Storm Quinn brought rain, snow and frigid conditions to much of the Northeast on Wednesday. And then it brought thundersnow.

The storm is the second nor’easter to hit several states in the past week, disrupting commutes and travel itineraries, causing some schools to close and bringing more than a foot of snow to some places.

Winter Storm Quinn, which is expected to bring 7 to 11 inches of snow to the New York City area, also surprised some people with thundersnow — a rare phenomenon caused when lightning occurs within snow storms.

Meteorologist Jim Cantore is famous for his excitement over repeated instances of thundersnow during Winter Storm Neptune in Boston in February 2015. There were also instances of thundersnow caused by Winter Storm Stella last year and Winter Storm Grayson earlier this year.

As the National Severe Storms Laboratory has explained, “thundersnow can be found where there is relatively strong instability and abundant moisture above the surface, such as above a warm front.”

A New Jersey teacher was struck by lightning Wednesday during thundersnow in the midst of the storm, the Associated Press reported. She was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com