A blizzard's strong winds can knock down trees, power lines and utility poles. Coastal storms can cause flooding and beach erosion. Blizzards occurring in the west may produce damage to roofs and other structures due to high winds gusting to 100 mph, or more, off mountaintops.Continue Reading
The National Weather Service describes a blizzard as large amounts of falling, or blowing, snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and a visibility of less than one-quarter mile for a period of greater than three hours. When these conditions are imminent, a blizzard warning is issued. Traveling by car becomes extremely dangerous, or impossible due to whiteout conditions and blowing snow. Strong winds and cold temperatures can also combine to create dangerous wind chills, which could lead to frostbite and hypothermia.
The worst blizzard in United States history occurred in March 1888 and impacted areas from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. Washington, Philadelphia and Boston were paralyzed, according to the National Weather Service. Snow amounts ranging from 40 to 50 inches were recorded in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Snow drifts reached 40 to 50 feet high, and 400 people were killed as a result of the storm.
In January 2005 a blizzard hit the lower Great Lakes region. Record snowfall amounts were seen in southern New England. The Boston area saw snowfall rates of three to five inches per hour. Winds gusted to 85 mph and parts of Massachusetts were buried under 6-foot snow drifts.Learn more about Storms
A cyclone is formed when a system of winds moving in circular motion closes in toward an area of the sea with low atmospheric pressure. The formation of cyclones occurs in four stages including formative, immature cyclone, mature cyclone and decay stage. Cyclones usually form in the eastern Pacific Ocean, southern Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. A cyclone is usually accompanied by thunderstorms.Full Answer >
According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, external winds can propel hurricanes across the ocean at sustained speeds of between 10 and 20 mph. Internally, hurricanes' wind speed is considerably higher.Full Answer >
Hurricanes classify as tropical or subtropical storms that form over open waters, have defined eyes, move in rotating motions and produce strong rain and winds. Hurricanes belong to the larger category of tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions and tropical storms, along with hurricanes. In the United States, hurricanes form in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, along with the Gulf of Mexico.Full Answer >
On Sept. 10, 1979, Hurricane Frederic strengthened to a Category 4 over the Central Gulf with maximum sustained winds near 132 miles per hour. The hurricane peaked at 135 miles per hour. On Aug. 29, 1979, Hurricane Fredric formed as a tropical depression over the far-eastern Atlantic.Full Answer >