Posts Tagged ‘blizzard’

Weather Word Wednesday : Blizzard

February 2nd, 2011 No comments

Seems fitting that the word for today should be Blizzard! Last night a massive snowstorm blanketed much of the Midwest United States, and has left many without power or stuck in places they don’t want to be. Flights have been canceled, schools closed, and general mayhem was experienced by all!

A blizzard, according to Wikipedia, is “a severe storm condition characterized by strong winds and reduced visibility. By definition, the difference between blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have winds in excess of 56 km/h (35 mph) with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to 400 meters or ¼ mile or less and must last for a prolonged period of time — typically three hours or more.”

Last night certainly counted as a blizzard. As the people who experienced 25 foot waves crashing on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Or the literally thousands of motorists stranded on the roads. This was one of the worst blizzards in history, and the full impact is yet to be realized.

Weather Word Wednesday : Winter Storms

January 5th, 2011 No comments

This is the first of the Weather Word Wednesday series, where each Wednesday I take a word or set of words found in weather reporting or meteorology, and let you know what they mean! My aim is to educate and help you understand what’s really being talked about on your favorite weather report, blog, or publication. Today we are going to talk briefly about Winter Storm advisories, watches and warnings!

Winter Storm Advisory: An advisory is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when a significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, and is an inconvenience. This means bad weather is happening right now or will happen soon, but it won’t be as bad as what you get with a Winter Storm Warning.

Winter Storm Watch: A watch is issued when significant winter weather, like heavy snow, sleet, significant freezing rain, or a combination of events, is expected, but not imminent. A warning provides about 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather.

Winter Storm Warning: This is issued when significant winter weather is occurring, imminent, or likely, and is a threat to life or property. If you hear a Winter Storm Warning for your area, you should probably remain inside with a nice cup of hot chocolate! But be prepared to dig yourself out later!

During the course of any given winter, you are likely to hear all three of these weather statements issued at one time or another. Even here in Arizona, we get Winter Storm Warnings when the occasional super heavy snowstorm rolls through. It’s good to have a basic understanding of the urgency associated with each of these weather statements, as it ultimately helps you get prepared for the weather ahead. Keep an eye on the TV, or an ear to the radio, and always know what’s happening outside!

Sources : The Weather Channel