Blizzards are winter storms characterized by blowing snow, less than quarter of a mile of visibility outdoors and strong winds moving 35 mph or faster, according to the National Weather Service. The word "blizzard" once referenced a powerful cannon or musket shot, but in the 1870s, an Iowa newspaper coined the term for a snowstorm.Continue Reading
The combination of excessive snowfall, freezing temperatures and intense wind leads to severe wind chill, making people more vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite, according to the U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force. Blizzards can also cause frozen pipes, flooding, fires, power loss and road blockages, leaving many families stranded until help arrives.
One of the most memorable storms in U.S. history occurred along the east coast in March 1888. The Great White Hurricane lasted four days and left cities, such as New York and Boston, buried under snowdrifts as high as 50 feet, according to History.com. Rail, telegraph and telephone communication were completely halted; neighborhoods suffered fire and flood damage; and 400 lives were lost, including 200 in New York City. In March 1993, an infamous blizzard, known as the Storm of the Century, produced record snowfall across 26 U.S. states and caused 300 fatalities.
Emergency warning and rescue tactics established by the government have helped to reduce deaths and damages caused by harsh winter storms. For example, improvements in weather forecasting technology allowed governors to declare a state of emergency and draft basic response plans before the 1993 Storm of the Century began.Learn more about Atmosphere
The weather in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is typically mild throughout the year, though summer storms are common, and snow is possible in winter. Temperatures in the hotter months usually range from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the colder months, they rarely drop lower than 25 degrees.Full Answer >
Whether using a camera or painting on canvas, some of the most popular winter scene images include bare and evergreen trees, snow, ice-covered ponds and people enjoying the outdoors. Skiing, ice fishing, dog sledding and other winter activities are other popular image options.Full Answer >
Blizzards are dangerous because of freezing temperatures that are exacerbated by high wind, difficulties getting through heavy snow and the possibility of getting lost in blinding flurries. A person caught outside in a blizzard needs to seek shelter immediately.Full Answer >
Blizzards occur whenever a winter weather system pairs heavy snowfall with high winds, or when a winter windstorm strikes an area that has recently experienced heavy snowfall. If the storm creates sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour and reduces visibility to a quarter-mile or less due to blowing snow, it is defined as a blizzard.Full Answer >