What does it take to be a blizzard

HASTINGS, Neb. (Nebraska) – It looks like there will be plenty of wind and possibly heavy snow with our next winter storm scheduled to hit the area tomorrow. While we currently have no blizzard warnings, it is not out of the question that we could see blizzard-like conditions during tomorrow’s weather event. Winter storms are gnarly to say the least as they can throw freezing rain, sleet and heavy snow. But not all winter storms are blizzards because there must be three key ingredients to unleash a blizzard. So what’s to happen? First, you must have sustained winds or freequent gusts of 35 mph or higher. Second, there must be visibility of less than a quarter mile due to snowfall and/or snow blowing from existing snowfall on the terrain. And third, both of the conditions mentioned above must occur 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 bring a winter survival kit in your vehicle. This should include blankets, a flashlight, non-perishable foods and first aid kits. High winds and white out conditions make driving extremely dangerous. Especially in rural areas where there are fewer signs and landmarks. So, with frequent wind gusts over 35 mph and snow falling for more than three hours straight, it’s very likely we could see blizzard conditions tomorrow.

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