Blizzards

From Glossary of Meteorology
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blizzard

A severe weather condition characterized by high winds and reduced visibilities due to falling or blowing snow.

The U.S. National Weather Service specifies a wind of 30 knots (35 miles per hour) or greater, sufficient snow in the air to reduce visibility to less than 400 m (0.25 miles). Earlier definitions also included a condition of low temperatures, on the order of -7°C (20°F) or lower, or -12°C (10°F) or lower (severe blizzard). The name originated in the United States but it is also used in other countries. In the Antarctic the name is given to violent autumnal winds off the ice cap. In southeastern France, the cold north wind with snow is termed blizzard (
see also boulbie). Similar storms in Russian Asia are the buran and purga. In popular usage in the United States and in England, the term is often used for any heavy snowstorm accompanied by strong winds.


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