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
Moving up from the surface, the stratosphere is the second layer of the Earth's atmosphere, beginning between 5 and 10 miles (26,000 to 53,000) feet up. There is very little water vapor present or cloud formation occurring in the stratosphere, but this layer holds about 19 percent of the total gas in the atmosphere.Full Answer >
The altitude of the thermosphere stretches between 56 and 621 miles above Earth. The thermosphere is located between layers called mesosphere and exosphere. All three are atmospheric layers of the planet Earth.Full Answer >
The harmattan winds blow across the Sahara to the Gulf of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands. The winds are very dry and dusty. This dryness makes fires more likely in harmattan season and can aggravate health conditions.Full Answer >
Gravity does almost no work on a bowling ball rolling along an alley because the ball is not moving in the direction of gravity. Work, as defined by physics, is a function of both force and distance traveled in the direction of the force.Full Answer >