Dear Tom,
How come we never get thunderstorms in the winter, when it’s cold?

—Jimmy, Chicago

Dear Jimmy,
Winter thunderstorms may be far less numerous than those in warm months and can be stealthy in winter storms because of the flash- blocking opaqueness and sound-muffling quality of snowflakes, but they do occur.
A noteworthy Chicago winter snowstorm with 40 mph wind gusts occurred on Dec. 15, 1987. Snow, falling at the rate of two inches an hour accumulated 6-8 inches as several t-storms accompanied the snow. More recently, during the Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2011 Groundhog Blizzard, a vigorous thundersnow event occurred while the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore was conducting an outdoor interview in Chicago. That storm, the city’s third largest, delivered more than 21 inches of paralyzing snowfall the city.