Be ready for blizzards with information from the National Weather Service.
What is a blizzard?
A blizzard is a dangerous winter storm that is a combination of large amounts of snow OR blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 mile for an extended period of time (at least 3 hours).
While heavy snowfalls and severe cold often accompany blizzards, they are not required. Sometimes strong winds pick up snow that has already fallen, creating a ground blizzard. When these conditions are expected, the National Weather Service will issue a "Blizzard Warning". Go here for more Winter Weather Advisories and Warnings
What causes a blizzard?
Blizzard conditions often develop on the northwest side of an intense storm system. The difference between the lower pressure in the storm and the higher pressure to the west leads to very strong winds. When the winds pick up available snow from the ground or blow any snow which is falling, they create very low visibilities and the potential for significant drifting of snow.
What are blizzard-related dangers?
Traveling by car can become difficult or even impossible due to "whiteout" conditions and drifting snow.
The strong winds and cold temperatures can cause very low wind chill values, which can lead to frostbite or hypothermia. (Go to the NWS wind chill web page.)
Blizzards also can cause power outages and frozen pipes, resulting in a cut off of regular fuel sources.
Turn to the National Weather Service for up-to-date reports on the conditions in your local area.
For more information, go to these sites:
|Winter WeatherBlizzards Create a Winter Storm PlanGet ready for winter with these useful tips.Avalanche FAQsLearn the basics about avalanches. For more details go to PBS - NOVA Online and USFS National Avalanche Center.Winter Weather Advisories and WarningsWhen winter weather approaches, be safe, be smart! Stay alert to weather signs when the following advisories, watches or warnings are issued.Blizzard FAQsBe ready for blizzards with information from the National Weather Service.Thawing Frozen PipesIf you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Here's advice from the Red Cross on what to do to make the water run again.Getting Your Family Ready for WinterWhen winter hits, sometimes it hits hard! Listen to your local weather forecaster and read through the following tips to keep your family warm in winter weather.Ice Dams Prevention and RemovalWater dripping into your house in the middle of winter could be assign that you've got an ice dam. Here is what you need to know and do, courtesy of the University of Minnesota.Hypothermia and FrostbiteHypothermia (body's temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit) and frostbite (severe reaction to cold exposure that can cause permanent damage) are real dangers in cold weather. Here’s how to avoid both and what to do if they occur.When a Winter Storm Watch or Warning Is IssuedThreatening winter weather expected? Be safe, be smart and tune to your local radio or television stations for information and instructions. Then follow these tips.|