What Makes a Blizzard?


You’ve heard about the legendary blizzards like the one in ’93, but do you know what makes it a blizzard?

Benjamin Irvin – Huntingdon: “A blizzard is a snowfall so thick you can’t really see much in front of your car. 6 inches plus”

Every winter you hear people describe any large snow storm as a blizzard. Well…. What if I told you that the amount of snow means nothing when it comes to a blizzard.

Wind! Wind is the main ingredient needed for a snow storm to be upgraded to a blizzard. The wind has to be at or above 35 mph sustained. When the wind is that strong it can easily blow snow or cause drifting snow to cut down the visibility and that leads us to the second ingredient…. Low visibility.

The visibility needs to be less than a quarter of a mile. Lastly these two ingredients… Winds stronger than 35 mph and the visibility less than a quarter of a mile needs to last 3 hours or more.

So remember the amount of snow means nothing when it comes to a snow storm being called a blizzard.

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