Thundersnow, Snow-nadoes, and More Reported in Texas & Louisiana
Obviously, winter storm Uri is one for the history books. Be it the extremely cold temps (it is 1°F), the frozen precipitation, the horrid driving conditions, or the dozens of things this weather system has thrown at us - we are living through yet another historical event.
Amongst the record snowfall and plummeting temperatures, quite a few weather related rarities have appeared. Brownsville, TX (South Texas) recorded it's 2nd measurable snowfall since 1898! Texas may have also had a snow tornado (I smell a Snow-nado movie in the works at the SciFi Channel already), and widespread reports of Thundersnow are coming in from cites like Galveston, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
According to The Weather Channel, when the previous winter storm (Uri) rolled through the south it was pretty intense. So intense, in fact, the storm started exhibiting some very thunderstorm-like behavior. Things like lightning and thunder don't usually with winter weather. When they do occur, it's pretty rare - even for places that regularly get lots of snow. It's extremely rare to rare in Texas, Louisiana, or really anywhere in the southern part of the U.S.
Thundersnow is an especially intense snow storm that creates enough friction to static electricity discharges like lightning. That, in turn creates thunder - but because of snow's acoustical suppression characteristics it can't be heard for miles like regular thunder. The unique, soft-but-very-deep rumble is only audible within a 2-3 mile radius.
All in all, this gigantic storm left almost three quarters of the country (73%) under a blanket of snow as of the morning of February 16th. That's the most we've seen in the United States in 17 years, and another storm (Winter Storm Orlena) is barreling down on us as I type this.