Blizzards are winter storms characterized by blowing snow, less than quarter of a mile of visibility outdoors and strong winds moving 35 mph or faster, according to the National Weather Service. The word "blizzard" once referenced a powerful cannon or musket shot, but in the 1870s, an Iowa newspaper coined the term for a snowstorm.Know More
The combination of excessive snowfall, freezing temperatures and intense wind leads to severe wind chill, making people more vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite, according to the U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force. Blizzards can also cause frozen pipes, flooding, fires, power loss and road blockages, leaving many families stranded until help arrives.
One of the most memorable storms in U.S. history occurred along the east coast in March 1888. The Great White Hurricane lasted four days and left cities, such as New York and Boston, buried under snowdrifts as high as 50 feet, according to History.com. Rail, telegraph and telephone communication were completely halted; neighborhoods suffered fire and flood damage; and 400 lives were lost, including 200 in New York City. In March 1993, an infamous blizzard, known as the Storm of the Century, produced record snowfall across 26 U.S. states and caused 300 fatalities.
Emergency warning and rescue tactics established by the government have helped to reduce deaths and damages caused by harsh winter storms. For example, improvements in weather forecasting technology allowed governors to declare a state of emergency and draft basic response plans before the 1993 Storm of the Century began.Learn more about Atmosphere
As the highest layer of the atmosphere, the Earth's exosphere contains very thin air and features both lower and upper boundaries. The exosphere's boundaries vary by altitude depending on the level of the sun's activity and solar radiation emissions. There is some debate among scientists as to whether the exosphere should be considered a layer of the atmosphere or a part of space.Full Answer >
The snow leopard is an elusive wildcat that roams the mountains of central Asia. It grows to be 6- to 7 1/2-feet-long, including the tail, 2-feet-high at the shoulders and up to 120 pounds in weight. As of 2015, conservationists list the creature as endangered.Full Answer >
The exosphere is the outermost layer of Earth's atmosphere. Although it is thin, it absorbs radiation that the sun gives off, shielding the layers of the atmosphere underneath.Full Answer >
The atmosphere becomes less dense as altitude increases because there is less weight on the air molecules, making them less compressed. The air at lower altitudes is denser because it is pressed down by the weight of all the air molecules above. Also, the further away air molecules are from the Earth, the less weight they have because of a lower gravitational pull.Full Answer >