SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For the second time this winter season, claps of thunder could be heard as snow fell in the city. 

When thundersnow happens, you can expect higher snowfall rates and more snow. 

KELOLAND meteorologist Scot Mundt said thundersnow is not uncommon and occurs much like strong thunderstorms near warm fronts in warmer months. Thunder happens when warm air overrides cold air, which aids the instability of the atmosphere. 

Thunder could be heard in Sioux Falls around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday and snowfall rates were around 2-3 inches per hour. 

At 8 a.m., the National Weather Service reported 7.5 to 8 inches of snow at the Sioux Falls airport, which increased to 10.5 to 11 inches of snow by 10 a.m. 

Snow depth increases recorded by the SDSU Mesonet.

The South Dakota State University Mesonet site near Sertoma Park recorded the higher snowfall rates after thunder was heard in Sioux Falls. Mesonets excel in providing high precision data particularly with highly variable elements like wind and precipitation.

The SDSU Mesonet shows snow depth in Sioux Falls went from 13 inches of snow at 8:30 a.m. to 16 inches by 9:45 a.m. 

Snow records in Sioux Falls 

KELOLAND meteorologist Brian Karstens reported on record snow amounts in Sioux Falls on Monday. 

The biggest 24-hour snow on record of 26 inches is from February 17th and 18th of 1962.

In 2018, Sioux Falls had 14 inches on April 13 and 14th. That was the 7th biggest 24-hour storm on record. 

The big Christmas storm of 2009 came in waves with a total of 19 inches, with 12.1 in a 24-hour period.

Karstens believed Monday and Tuesday’s winter storm would likely land somewhere in the top 20 biggest snow storms since 1895.