Astronaut spots 'rare thundersnow' amid 2016 blizzard from space

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Astronaut Spots 'Rare Thundersnow' Amid 2016 Blizzard From Space

The recent snowstorm in the northeastern U.S. gave astronaut Scott Kelly a view of an unusual weather system.

On Saturday, as the inclement conditions continued, he tweeted a photo with the caption "Rare #thundersnow visible from @Space_Station in #blizzard2016!"

As the name suggests, the weather phenomenon occurs when thunder and lightning are present during snowfall.

According to the Weather Channel, these types of storms are different than the normal ones which consist of vertical funnels of warm, humid air.

Thundersnow typically happens when snow clouds get bumped upward due to fierce winds or other strong pressures.

As the instability increases during a cold period, snow can form and electrification can occur.

In addition to the thundersnow photo, Kelly released other blizzard-related images which he took aboard the International Space Station.

Related: See the best photos from Scott Kelly's year in space:

Scott Kelly's best photos from #YearinSpace
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Astronaut spots 'rare thundersnow' amid 2016 blizzard from space

March 30, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): ".@FLOTUS Thank you. Made it! Moving into crew quarters on @space_station to begin my #yearinspace."

April 4, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "Good morning #Texas from the #ISS. Looks like #Houston and #Austin have some #weather headed your way. #YearInSpace"

April 8, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#Himalayas. What icy veins you have. #YearInSpace"

April 27, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Sometimes #Earth looks like another planet from @Space_Station. #YearInSpace"

May 9, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "I don't know where in the US Southwest this is, but it sure is beautiful. #YearInSpace"

June 7, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#Asuncion, #Paraquay, #HappySunday from @Space_Station. #YearInSpace."

June 9, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "The green fields of #SouthEastAsia. #YearInSpace."

June 20, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt. Need to see this up close some day. #YearInSpace"

July 7, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 102. I'll be counting stars. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

July 13, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#GoodMorning #Aurora! Good to see you again. #YearInSpace"

July 13, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#MondayMotivation #Earth today; #PlutoFlyby tomorrow! @Space_Station; @NASANewHorizons #YearInSpace"

July 18, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 113 just flew right by! Goodnight from @Space_Station! #YearInSpace"

July 19, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#Bahamas, the strokes of your watercolors are always a refreshing sight. #YearInSpace."

July 25, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#Goodevening #Japan. Showing @Astro_Kimiya how to take pictures of #Earth at night. #YearInSpace"

July 28, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#GoodMorning #Barcelona, #Spain! Looking beautiful as usual from @Space_Station. #YearInSpace"

August 1, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "That's it, Earth folks! Losing comm. #ThankYou for your Qs. You made my #Saturday. We'll do this again. #YearInSpace"

August 9, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 135. #MilkyWay. You're old, dusty, gassy and warped. But beautiful. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

August 9, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Tomorrow we'll eat the anticipated veggie harvest on @space_station! But first, lettuce take a #selfie. #YearInSpace"

August 15, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Another pass through #Aurora. The sun is very active today, apparently. #YearInSpace"

August 21, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "Day 147. I'm going to go study our world #geography some more. Good night from @Space_Station! #YearInSpace"

August 22, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt Looks like Earth replicated Michelangelo's famous fresco. #YearInSpace"

August 24, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 150. Our bright star of the day amid the evening stars. Good night from @space_station! #HTV5 #YearInSpace"

August 28, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "Day 154. #Aurora's purple glow adds mystery to the nightscape. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

September 4, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 161. Our sun, bright star. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

September 5, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#goodnight #Earth! Make me proud and I'll try and do the same. #YearInSpace"

September 8, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 165. On the number of stars in our #MilkyWay galaxy, mind blown. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

September 13, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#GoodMorning #USA! Your #Aurora must mean that fall is right around the corner. #YearInSpace"

September 22, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 179. The #Nile at night is a beautiful sight for these sore eyes. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

September 26, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "Feel bad for the people of #NorthKorea when I see with my own eyes they live without electricity. #YearInSpace"

September 26, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "Day 183- Six months in space #saturdayselfie and a #GoodNight from @SpaceStation! #YearInSpace"

September 30, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt Our planet seems to have a sense of humor at times. #YearInSpace"

October 3, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 190. Clouds bathe #Europe in a cool glow. #Goodnight from @Space_Station! #YearInSpace"

October 2, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Early morning shot of Hurricane #Joaquin from @space_station before reaching #Bahamas. Hope all is safe. #YearInSpace"

October 7, 2015

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) captured this photograph of the green lights of the aurora from the International Space Station on Oct. 7, 2015. Sharing with his social media followers, Kelly wrote, "The daily morning dose of #aurora to help wake you up. #GoodMorning from @Space_Station! #YearInSpace"

October 10, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt In 377 cumulative days in space, I've never seen this before today. #YearInSpace"

October 12, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt A single pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 10 of 17. #YearInSpace"

October 12, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt in one pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 2 of 17. #YearInSpace"

October 13, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt A single pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 15 of 17. #YearInSpace"

October 13, 2015

Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly): "Day 200. Sometimes a little light makes all the difference. #GoodNight from @Space_Station #YearInSpace"

October 16, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Houston, TX. The area to the North and East of the #Himalayas is strikingly beautiful. #YearInSpace"

October 17, 2015

Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt Across the Greatest Desert- #Sahara #YearInSpace"

October 19, 2015

On Oct. 12-13, 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared a series of seventeen photographs taken from the International Space Station during a flyover of Australia. This first photo of the series was shared on Twitter with the caption, "#EarthArt in one pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 1 of 17. #YearInSpace". (Photo via NASA)

October 20, 2015

Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly): ".@POTUS Nothing like getting a call from you Mr. President. Oleg caught #WashingtonDC lit like stars #AstronomyNight"

October 23, 2015

Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly): Hurricane #Patricia approaches #Mexico. It's massive. Be careful! #YearInSpace

October 29, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#SpaceWalkSelfie Back on the grid! Great first spacewalk yesterday. Now on to the next one next week. #YearInSpace"

October 31, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 218 Bewitching hour on #Earth. Have fun, be safe. #HappyHalloween & #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

October 31, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#TropicalStorm #Ashobaa churns off the coast of #Oman. Stay safe down there. #YearInSpace"

November 5, 2015

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "For an instant before sunrise, the space station glows orange. #GoodMorning from @Space_Station! #YearInSpace"

November 14, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Shocked & saddened by terrorist attacks on #Paris Standing with #France from @space_station. Our thoughts are w you."

November 20, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 238 #India, #Pakistan and the #Tibetan Plateau make for a #GoodNight from @Space_Station #Himalayas #YearInSpace"

November 22, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 240. Nighttime falls softly over #CostaDelSol and #FrenchRiviera. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

November 22, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt #SouthAmerica #YearInSpace"

November 27, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 245. Night pulls its veil over Earth and she shines like the stars. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

December 5, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Just took this stunning picture of #SouthEastAsia. #YearInSpace"

December 8, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 256. #MilkyWay births 7 new stars a year, so 2 star births to go. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

December 17, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "No lines for #StarWars but we do have to wait for it to get to @Space_Station Soon. Patience we must have, padawans!"

December 23, 2015

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 271. A colorful night over #Earth. #GoodNight from @space_station #YearInSpace"

January 3, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "The Southern tip of #India and its blue waters. #YearInSpace"

January 8, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 287. Another week done with a flash of #lightning. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

January 9, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Cool frozen lake in #Himalayas! #YearInSpace"

January 16, 2016

Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly shared photographs of a blooming zinnia flower in the Veggie plant growth system aboard the International Space Station. Kelly wrote, "Yes, there are other life forms in space! #SpaceFlower #YearInSpace"

This flowering crop experiment began on Nov. 16, 2015, when NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren activated the Veggie system and its rooting "pillows" containing zinnia seeds. The challenging process of growing the zinnias provided an exceptional opportunity for scientists back on Earth to better understand how plants grow in microgravity, and for astronauts to practice doing what they’ll be tasked with on a deep space mission: autonomous gardening. In late December, Kelly found that the plants "weren't looking too good," and told the ground team, “You know, I think if we’re going to Mars, and we were growing stuff, we would be responsible for deciding when the stuff needed water. Kind of like in my backyard, I look at it and say ‘Oh, maybe I should water the grass today.’ I think this is how this should be handled.”

The Veggie team on Earth created what was dubbed “The Zinnia Care Guide for the On-Orbit Gardener,” and gave basic guidelines for care while putting judgment capabilities into the hands of the astronaut who had the plants right in front of him. Rather than pages and pages of detailed procedures that most science operations follow, the care guide was a one-page, streamlined resource to support Kelly as an autonomous gardener. Soon, the flowers were on the rebound, and on Jan. 12, pictures showed the first peeks of petals beginning to sprout on a few buds.

(Photo via NASA)

January 19, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "A splash of #EarthArt over the #Bahamas! #YearInSpace"

January 20, 2016

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and ESA astronaut Tim Peake shared a series of aurora photographs taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 20, 2016. Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) wrote, "#goodmorning #aurora and the Pacific Northwest! #YearInSpace" and Peake (@astro_timpeake) followed up with, "Getting a photo masterclass from @StationCDRKelly – magical #aurora"

The dancing lights of the aurora provide spectacular views on the ground, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.

(Photo via ESA/NASA)

January 21, 2016

Astronaut Scott Kelly showed the world one of the unusual benefits of microgravity for astronauts living on board the International Space Station - liquid ping pong. NASA released video on Jan. 21 showing Kelly using a set of hydrophobic paddles and a ball of water and playing ping pong in space. (Photo via NASA)

January 22, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): Massive #snowstorm blanketing #EastCoast clearly visible from @Space_Station! Stay safe! #blizzard2016 #YearInSpace

January 23, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 302. #Blizzard2016 gave us an impressive view below. Stay warm! #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

February 2, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "5K times around Earth can seem like #GroundhogDay but still a privilege. #GoodNight frm @space_station! #YearInSpace"

February 11, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 321. Beautiful #Earth. Beautiful #Africa. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

February 12, 2016

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "The snowy foothills of #Iran. #YearInSpace"

February 15, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Lights of #HoChiMinhCity #Saigon #Vietnam. #YearInSpace"

February 16, 2016

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#ColorsofEarth Red and purple Terra Australis. #YearInSpace"

February 19, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 329. One night over #Macedonia. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

February 20, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 330. Tried to only count up. 10 days left tmrw I start #countdown! #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

February 26, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#EarthArt Desert dunes. #YearInSpace"

February 28, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#Countdown 2 days & a wake-up! Getting closer to Earth & hope Mars too. #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"


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