Pardon me if you’ve heard me say this before, but a blizzard has to do with the intensity of the event, not the amount of snow that falls.
A storm that produces 100 inches of snow is not automatically a blizzard, and a blizzard can technically occur with absolutely no snow falling from the sky.
According to the National Weather Service, a blizzard is when the following conditions are met:
- Snow or blowing snow reduces visibility to under 1/4 of a mile with a sustained wind (or frequent gusts) to at least 35 mph for a minimum of three hours.
Again, some of the heaviest snow storms occur with little or no wind to speak of; therefore, they are not blizzards.
On the other hand, some of the lowest visibility occurs when a powdery snow on the ground is blown by howling winds, creating blizzard conditions, even if no snow is falling from the sky.
A blizzard is intensity, not accumulation.
Of course, if you’d have read my book (Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities), then you’d have already known that.
I wonder what else you’d already know if you’d have picked up a copy. Of course, it’s never too late….