A blizzard's strong winds can knock down trees, power lines and utility poles. Coastal storms can cause flooding and beach erosion. Blizzards occurring in the west may produce damage to roofs and other structures due to high winds gusting to 100 mph, or more, off mountaintops.Know More
The National Weather Service describes a blizzard as large amounts of falling, or blowing, snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and a visibility of less than one-quarter mile for a period of greater than three hours. When these conditions are imminent, a blizzard warning is issued. Traveling by car becomes extremely dangerous, or impossible due to whiteout conditions and blowing snow. Strong winds and cold temperatures can also combine to create dangerous wind chills, which could lead to frostbite and hypothermia.
The worst blizzard in United States history occurred in March 1888 and impacted areas from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. Washington, Philadelphia and Boston were paralyzed, according to the National Weather Service. Snow amounts ranging from 40 to 50 inches were recorded in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Snow drifts reached 40 to 50 feet high, and 400 people were killed as a result of the storm.
In January 2005 a blizzard hit the lower Great Lakes region. Record snowfall amounts were seen in southern New England. The Boston area saw snowfall rates of three to five inches per hour. Winds gusted to 85 mph and parts of Massachusetts were buried under 6-foot snow drifts.Learn more about Storms
Hurricanes cause severe damage to man-made structures and the natural environment, and they can uproot trees, destroy walls, upturn vehicles, erode beaches and cause inland flooding. Very strong hurricanes can devastate houses, reduce water supply and lead to power outages that last weeks.Full Answer >
Typhoons are cyclonic tropical storms caused by a combination of warm water, evaporation, swirling winds and other factors. They typically start as smaller more mundane storms, but under the right conditions they may grow into monster coastline-wrecking typhoons.Full Answer >
A hurricane's eye is calm because this quiet center is the hub around which the section of strongest winds forms. Without this hub, the storm would not develop the necessary power. The rotating winds cause the updrafts of air that give a storm hurricane strength.Full Answer >
Hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour, according to NASA. Hurricanes aren't the only storms that produce winds this fast, so these storms are categorized by their combination of fast-moving, swirling winds and rain.Full Answer >