Weather Why: Winter Storm vs Blizzard

Weather Blog

Today’s Weather Why is from Caleb. He wants to know – what is the difference between a Winter Storm Warning and a Blizzard Warning?

A Winter Storm Warning must meet the conditions of accumulating snow, limited visibility, strong winds with no time requirements. A Blizzard Warning must meet the following criteria falling or blowing snow, winds in excess of 35 mph, and visibility under a quarter mile for at least 3 hours. A new winter related warning is the snow squall warning. This does not have to be associated with any winter storms or blizzards, could happen during a day with scattered snow showers. A snow squall warning is issued for a small area where there is a sudden downburst of brief heavy snow that will lead to suddenly slick conditions and low visibility. No time frame required.

If you have a question,  go to Megan’s Weather Whys on the weather page and submit your question there.


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