GRAY — People across northern New England were treated to a relatively rare weather phenomenon when a band of thunderstorms crossed the region while it was snowing.

The National Weather Service says a large line of thunderstorms with thunder and lightning crossed Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine during Saturday night’s storm that brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to the region.

Winter thunderstorms, or thunder snowstorms, are sometimes called “thundersnow.”

According to the weather service, winter thunderstorms are rare because the air is more stable than in the spring and summer, and strong updrafts can’t form because the surface temperatures are colder.