What it takes to be a blizzard

March 15, 2023
In order to be called a blizzard, these three things need to occur
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:34 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - There looks to be a lot of wind and possibly heavy snow with our next winter storm scheduled to impact the area tomorrow. While we don’t have any blizzard warnings currently in place, it’s not out of the question we could see blizzard-like conditions during tomorrow’s weather event. Winter storms are quite gnarly to say the least as they can throw down freezing rain, sleet and heavy snow. But not all winter storms are blizzards as there needs to be three key ingredients to whip up a blizzard. So, what needs to happen? First, it is required to have sustained winds or freequequent gusts of 35 mph or greater. Second, there needs to be visibilities of less than a quarter of a mile due to falling snow and/or blowing snow from an already existing snow fall on the ground. And third, both of the conditions mentioned above need to happen for a minimum of three consecutive hours. While it’s not safe to travel during a blizzard, only do so if it’s an absolute emergency. Be sure to carry a winter survival kit in your vehicle. This should include blankets, flashlight, non-perishable foods and first aid kit. High winds and white out conditions make driving extremely dangerous. Especially in rural areas where there less signs and landmarks. So, with frequent wind gusts over 35 mph and falling snow for more than three straight hours, it’s very possible we could see blizzard conditions tomorrow.