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<   No. 941   2005-08-24   >

Comic #941

1 {scene: cockpit of the plane flying to Kiev. Lightning flashes are visible through the window}
1 Pilot: This landing will be tricky. There's snow on the runway.
2 Prof. Jones: I've experienced worse. Take her in!
3 Pilot: Worse flying weather?
4 Prof. Jones: No, worse piloting. {pointing at Monty} Junior here was flying!

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When I first put the images together for this, I put lovely blue sky in the background outside the cockpit window. It was only when I reread my dialogue that I realised it might be better to show them flying in a storm.

Of course, several people have let me know that it never, or hardly ever, snows during a thunderstorm. All I can do is plead plain ignorance. I live in a subtropical climate; I've never even seen snow falling. I just assumed if you get lightning during a really heavy rainstorm, you'd get it during a really heavy snowstorm too.

Having said that, I'll just point out that the pilot doesn't actually say it's snowing. He just says there's snow on the runway - which could have been left behind by a previous non-thundery precipitation event. So there. :-)

2014-10-31 Rerun commentary: Some nine and a bit years later, I've still never seen snow falling. I have seen snow on the ground several times - heck, I used to really like skiing back when I was at university. (I probably still like skiing - I just haven't done it for something like twenty years now.)

But skiing in Australia generally follows the pattern of: travel to the ski resort, ski in bright sunshine and above freezing temperatures for a few days, go home. I do recall precipitation while being there in the heart of the ski season, but it was just rain.

EDIT: I've now been told that sometimes it does snow during a thunderstorm, and such things are called "thundersnows", but they are indeed quite rare. More commonly thunderstorms in very cold weather drop hail.

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