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4 unexpected things that can happen during a Nor'easter

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, March 12, 2018, 13:41 - 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 move in this week.

These types 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.

SEE ALSO: Pacific storms to bring more rain and snow to dry California

1. Thundersnow

Nor'easters 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.

Nor'easters make for powerful winds 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.

On Friday, a Nor'easter created waves as big as houses on the shorelines of Massachusetts. At the time, wind gusts were blowing up to 70 mph -- about the same gust speed forecasted for the current and upcoming round of storms.

See the incredible video here: 

4. Buried treasure

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

Receding waters sucked back by one of the recent nor'easters 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 6 feet 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

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