- A blizzard is a severe snowstorm that usually has very cold temperatures and high winds. These two conditions create blowing snow.
- When a blizzard occurs it makes driving or walking very dangerous, because the whiteout conditions make it difficult to see.
- The National Weather Service defines blizzards as large amounts of falling or blowing snow with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than ¼ of a mile for a period of more than 3 hours.
- Blizzards also create a wind chill effect that can be dangerous. The blowing winds and low temperature can cause frostbite and/or hyperthermia.
- Blizzards that occur on the East Coast of the United States are known as Nor’easters. Because of the Atlantic Ocean, the storm stalls over the coast and can sometimes last for 24 hours dumping huge amounts of snow over the area.
- Never eat frozen snow because it lowers the body temperature.
- If you are ever caught in a car during a blizzard, it is best to stay with the car. Many people have walked in circles, because they couldn’t see where they were going in the blinding snow.
- In 1888, two legendary storms occurred. The Schoolhouse Blizzard occurred across the Great Plains, stranding children in their schoolhouses. About 235 people died in this blizzard. Many of those were children that tried to walk home from school.
- The other blizzard that occurred is known as the Great Blizzard of 1888. New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut were hit with 40 to 50 inches of snow. The area was paralyzed and people were caught in their homes for up to a week. Over thirty people lost their lives in that storm.
- If you are located in an area where blizzards occur, you should make sure you have extra food and supplies. You should also have a radio with extra batteries, candles, a cell phone and lots of blankets. You should also plan on staying inside. Many times, children playing right outside of their homes have gotten lost in the blinding snow.
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