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What Is A Blizzard?


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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    It's obviously exciting when moderate or heavy snow falls, particularly if you rarely see any snow at all, but the term

    'blizzard' is a much over used one and I think the boundaries need to be defined.

    Although 'blizzard' isn't officially recognised as a description of the weather, it is widely used, even among professional forecasters and, at least within the U.K, the Met' Office have accepted the following definitions.

    Blizzard; the simultaneous occurrence of moderate or heavy snowfall and winds of at least force 7 ( 32 mph ) which causes drifting snow and a reduction in visibility to 200m or less.

    Severe blizzard; the simultaneous occurrence of moderate or heavy snowfall and winds of at least force 9 ( 47 mph ) which causes drifting of the snow and a reduction in visibility to near zero.

    A moderate-heavy snowfall combined with a wind of at least 32 mph at a temperature below 0c is a rare event on low ground in Britain and a blizzard in the true sense of the description ( and particularly a severe blizzard ) is a blinding, choking experience where it is impossible to face the wind and meaningfully see anything and where every basic instinct is to find shelter and get out of it if at all possible.

    Not to be confused with moderate or heavy snow falling in still air or even being swirled about by a brisk breeze.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

    A good, well needed post here. I saw yesterday several people posting "blizzards" for short, moderate-heavy showers of snow, which were most probably not blizzards.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent

    Was the original meaning of blizzard not a North American one, referring to snow which had already fallen being whipped up by strong winds, rather than snow actually falling at the time?

    Dave

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    Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

    If you can only stand with difficulty in the wind, the snow stings the backs of your ears your ears and you can't see you feet - it's a blizzard! B)

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    Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

    is always thought a blizzard was a period of prolonged modarate/heavy snowfall combined with a gale force 8 wind....but then you can have blizzard like conditons in squally snow showers..although not a blizzard as it is not continous.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    the definition by TM is correct and just for the record here is the 'official' Met O definition

    Blizzard = Moderate or heavy snow accompanied by winds of 30 m.p.h. or more, with visibility reduced to 200 m or less; or drifting snow giving rise to similar conditions.

    like many definitions in weather or other fields, some licence is bound to occur.

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    Posted
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.

    Last blizzard here was in february 2006 N-ly which gave an amazing squally shower as winds were gale force during that a heavy whiteout shower and some fantastic drifting with snow that was already drifting before,blinding it`s my favourite kind of weather. :drunk: aswell as thunderstorms.

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/20...00120060228.gif

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    Posted
  • Location: Canmore, Canada [4296ft] & North Kent [350ft]
  • Location: Canmore, Canada [4296ft] & North Kent [350ft]

    I have only experienced one true blizzard here in Canada, and I never want to experience it again. I literally could not see infront of me. However many times with exceptionally heavy snow it is always tempting to call it a blizzard, but if the wind isnt there, you cant really.

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    Posted
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing fog, frost, snow, sunshine.
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl

    There have only been a few times in my life that I would describe the snow as being blizzard like. It's a horrible kind of snow to be in though, with strong northerly winds making it feel absolutely freezing in terms of windchill, and heavy snow only adding to it.

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    Posted
  • Location: Rugby, Warks
  • Weather Preferences: Dangerous
  • Location: Rugby, Warks

    Without current snowfall, a covering (more a proper dumping) that is whipped up in a strong, sustained wind causing blizzard conditions only a few feet above ground level is often referred to as the Ground Blizzard.

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    Posted
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.
    Without current snowfall, a covering (more a proper dumping) that is whipped up in a strong, sustained wind causing blizzard conditions only a few feet above ground level is often referred to as the Ground Blizzard.

    Thats the one :( a covering will do until it`s blown all off the fields, as long as it`s quite powdery to very powdery,it`ll still drift even it it isn`t powdery but wet nope.

    6 inches of powdery snow is much much better though with plenty to keep topping up drifting/blizzards on a sunny day absolute bliss it doesn`t need to snow after. :D snow grains small flakes are the best for drifting though when it does stop or the snowdrift layer goes hard.

    Big flakes are not.

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