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I know how lightning works, but why doesn't strike when it snows?
Question Date: 2004-02-10
Answer 1:

Apparently, there can be lightning during snowstorms but it is relatively rare. The updrafts of warm air that cause charges to separate during thunderstorms are not common in snowstorms but strong snowstorms or snowstorms near bodies of water can have lightning.

Until recently, I haven't spend much time in the snow so I hadn't thought about this before.

Answer 2:

Nobody really knows what the source of the separation of electric charges in a thunderstorm is, although it is thought that it has to do with interactions between liquid water and solid water (ice) molecules inside the thundercloud.

In a snowstorm, there is no liquid water available; it's all ice. As a result, there can be no interaction, no charge separation, and thus, no lightning.

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