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4 unexpected things that can happen during a Nor'easter

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, March 12, 2018, 12:59 PM - Nor'easters have been making headlines lately, after a series of powerful storms began taking aim at Canada and the U.S.

The storms started moving in around the beginning of the month, almost immediately knocking out power to 1.7 million homes in the U.S. Northeast and Northwest.

The third nor'easter is expected to impact Atlantic Canada Tuesday into Wednesday.

East coasters are used to turbulent weather, but this type of powerful storm can dig up much more than wind, rain and snow. 

Here, we take a look at four unexpected things that can (and have) happened during a nor'easter.

Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2018 for an in depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more.

1. Thundersnow

Nor'easters usually bring strong wind, snow and convection -- three ingredients that contribute to thundersnow.

Thundersnow is a rare occurrence that's most commonly found off the Great Lakes, on mountainous terrain and during convective winter storms.

On March 7, "thundersnow" started trending on Twitter after the phenomenon was reported in Manhattan, NY, not long after a nor'easter moved in.

VIDEO: Everything you need to know about thundersnow:

2. Major turbulence

Air travellers are often told to prepare for flight delays and cancellations -- but there's another thing they should be aware of, if they make it into the air.

The upcoming nor'easter is expected to stir up powerful wind and that can make for a bumpy flight, especially for airplanes that are trying to take off or land.

Turbulence that occurs close to the ground is usually caused by heavy winds.

Passengers on a United flight landing in Dulles, Washington learned that the hard way this month when nor'easter winds caused turbulence strong enough to make nearly everyone aboard throw up.

"Very bumpy on descent," the pilot's official report reads. "Pretty much everyone on the plane threw up. Pilots were on the verge of throwing up."

Accuweather reporter Jonathan Petramala reported nearly everyone on a colleague's flight landing in Pittsburgh suffered a similar turbulence-induced fate that day.

He also posted a shaky video of his flight landing amid powerful nor'easter winds.

3. Gigantic waves

Nor'easters often bring about coastal flooding and large waves, but it can be hard to visualize the impact of those storms.

One of the previous systems in the current parade created waves as big as houses on the shorelines of Massachusetts. At the time, wind gusts were blowing up to 113 km/h -- gusts that aren't unheard of along the coasts of Atlantic Canada.

4. Buried treasure

There are a lot of things lurking on the bottom of seabeds, and Nor'easters can be effective treasure hunters.

Earlier this month, receding waters sucked back by a nor'easter revealed the remains of a 160-year-old Revolutionary Era shipwreck on a Maine beach.

The remains of the ship are usually submerged under about 2 metres of water, making an appearance only a handful of times over the past 60 years, usually during a powerful storm event.

Researchers say the ship was commonly used for fishing or cargo transport.

Courtesy: York Maine Police Department

WATCH BELOW: Another Nor'easter takes aim: 

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