What Is a Snow Squall?

A snow squall is defined as an intense, heavy snowfall with strong winds and a possibility of lightning. The amount of snowfall is significant. Another term used to describe a snow squall is a whiteout.

There are two types of snow squalls: lake effect and front. Lake effect occurs when cold, arctic air travels over warm open water, which supports the development of convective clouds. This type of cloud produces heavy snow showers. A frontal snow squall is a cloud line that develops when the surface temperature is close to freezing. This cloud produces enough moisture to present whiteout conditions.