Blizzards are classified as conditions that prevail for three hours or more and include frequent gusts, or sustained winds, of up to 35 miles per hour, along with considerable amounts of blowing or falling snow. These conditions can greatly reduce visibility, sometimes to less than a quarter of a mile.
While the dangers associated with winter weather vary across the country, most Americans are likely to experience winter weather regarded as severe at some point. Winter storms in America range from moderate snowfall to blizzards that are accompanied by wind driven, blinding snow that lasts for a number of days. Most often, these storms are characterized by extremely low temperatures, along with freezing rain, ice, sleet, and strong winds. The main concern around winter storms is the weather’s ability to disrupt or knock out power, communication and heat services to residential and commercial areas.
In extremely bad weather, blizzards can last for many days. The extreme cold conditions combined with heavy snowfall have been known to immobilize entire regions, isolating the inhabitants and disrupting essential services. A blizzard warning is issued when frequent or sustained winds exceed 35 miles per hour and are accompanied by snowfall that severely reduces visibility, causing dangerous driving conditions.Learn More
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the central United States experiences more tornadoes than any other location in the world. Its flat, wide expanse fosters combinations of weather conditions favorable for tornado formation. Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa and southern Minnesota are particularly prone to tornadoes.Full Answer >
A thunderstorm is a storm with heavy rainfall accompanied by wind, thunder and lightning. These storms occur when air that is moist and close to the ground heats up and rises to form cumulonimbus clouds that produce precipitation. Electrical charges develop near the bottom of the clouds, resulting in lightning discharges.Full Answer >
A tornado is most distinguishable from other types of storms by its tall, rotating funnel that extends down from a dark cloud known as a cumuliform cloud. The bottom of the funnel contacts the ground, and the fast rotations of the funnel destroy anything in the tornado's path.Full Answer >
Tornadoes are known to have circulating winds that reach between 200 and 500 miles per hour. Tornadoes typically advance across ground in a northeast direction, and at a speed no more than 30 miles per hour.Full Answer >