Most people think of a blizzard as a bad snowstorm, but a winter storm must meet certain criteria to be classified as a blizzard. According to the National Weather Service, a blizzard is a weather event that includes low temperatures, wind speeds greater than 56 kilometers (35 miles) per hour, and a large amount of falling or blowing snow that lowers visibility to 0.4 kilometers (0.25 mile) for a minimum of three hours. These whiteout conditions can cause car accidents and people on foot to become lost. Additionally, the colder temperatures that often follow a blizzard can put people at risk of frostbite or hypothermia.
Explore more about blizzards with this collection of resources.