VIDEO: What makes a snowstorm a “blizzard?”

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – With a snowstorm headed our way that is expected to bring us more than a foot of snow, many people may be wondering what qualifies a storm as a “blizzard.”

In order for a storm to be considered a true blizzard, some very specific criteria need to be met; and that is something particularly difficult to do here in western Massachusetts, where we are so far away from the coastline.

A blizzard:

  1. Must have sustained or frequent winds of at least 35 miles per hour
  2. Falling or blowing snow frequently reducing visibility to a quarter mile or less
  3. These conditions must last for at least three hours

Blizzard warnings are currently in effect for all of Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as eastern portions of Massachusetts. All of western Massachusetts remain under a Winter Storm Warning. That doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing heavy amounts of snow- we certainly will- it is just that it appears at this point the winds are not expected to be high enough for true blizzard conditions.

For the latest on the timing of this storm, and just how much snow we can expect, check out the latest 22News Storm Team Forecast.

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