Does it really snow in the winter seven days after it thunders?

Monday, January 20, 2020 - 10:45am

Last week we had a few rumbles of thunder around the county. As you can expect a lot of Rowan County Residents got excited saying it would snow in the next seven days. Based on an old wives tale that we have likely all heard at some point during our lifetime. Following that you may have also seen or read many blogs or stories from fellow meteorologist and forecasters about how that old wives tale stacks up in their area. My friend and colleague Brad Panovich mentioned in Charlotte that only works out about 10% of the time. I know you may be reading this article right now saying "Well that's Charlotte. There's been plenty of times where it snows here and does nothing there" You would be absolutely right. However, does it make the old wives tale more likely for us here in Rowan County?

I decided to pull the data and see for myself. Let';s use the last 5 years as a base for testing this old wives tale. From 2015 to 2019 there were nine reports of thunder in the vicinity of the airport in Salisbury. Out of those nine reports of thunder there is only one instance of accumulating snowfall within seven days of the thunder report. That was in January of 2017.


By the percentages that is only 11% of the time the wives tale is actually correct. I checked the data back as far as official reporting is listed and the percentage fluctuates a little but on average 11% is the actual amount of times the wives tale for getting snow seven days after hearing thunder actually works out. 

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