A blizzard is a big snowstorm, right? Learn what actually defines a blizzard and what you can do to stay safe.
A blizzard is when there is a lot of snow, right? Well, there is a bit more to it than that. Believe it or not, the National Weather Service has a pretty strict definition of a blizzard.
For a blizzard to occur:
There must be considerable snowfall, although there is no specific threshold that must be met.
Wind speeds have to reach above 35 miles-per-hour
Visibility needs to drop to one-quarter mile or less
These conditions must last for at least three hours
These extreme weather conditions make travel dangerous. Winds often create drifts that can completely cover vehicles and reach second story windows. Blizzards can be dangerous for humans, pets and livestock, causing hypothermia, frostbite and increased risk of car accidents. Blowing winds and freezing temperatures can lead to broken pipes, frozen trees and damage to power lines, potentially leading to outages.
Prepare a storm readiness kit. Include basic supplies like water, batteries, first aid kit and pantry items. Make sure you have blankets and other essential items so your family can stay warm in case you lose power.
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