Winter storms are identified by snowfall, rain, sleet, and also ice and so on where temperature are below freezing point. A winter storm (or snowstorm) is an occasion in i m sorry the dominant varieties of precipitation are forms that only occur at cold temperatures, together as eye or sleet, or a rainstorm whereby ground temperatures are cold enough to permit ice to kind (i.e. Freeze rain). The difference between a blizzard and also winter storms lies in the presence and also strength of winds. Blizzards are substantial snow storms with solid winds.

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Comparison chart

Blizzard matches Winter Storm comparison chart
BlizzardWinter StormCharacteristics Occurrence Forms of precipitation Types Effect Economic affect
Severe storm with solid winds, major temperatures and heavy snow. Cold storm with low temperature, sleet, snow, rain and ice formations.
Winter Winter, spring, autumn
Snow Snow, rime, ice pellets, rain, graupel
Traditional and also ground blizzards Snow storm, freeze rain storm or wintry mixes.
Blizzard provides rise come a white out with minimum visibility. Avalanches, cornices and spring flooding are typical in winter storms.
Blizzards injury local economies and also cause paralysis of common life for days. Infections because of frostbites, fatality from hypothermia, power outage, car accidents on slippery roads, fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and so on lead to disruption that life until problems improve.


Satellite picture of the United says blanketed by snow in February 2011.

Definition of Blizzard


Blizzard like conditions on I94 from exit 140 overpass 9 miles west of Mandan in ND.

A winter storm occurs at very cold temperatures and also is characterized by range of precipitations prefer snow, sleet, freeze rain, and ice formation. These storms happen in temperate continental climates throughout winter, early spring and also late autumn. Cold temperature is a must for a winter storm. A winter storm that is specifically severe and meets some criteria is called a blizzard.

"Blizzard" has actually different definitions in different countries. The nationwide Weather service of the joined States specify blizzard as constant winds blowing in ~ 35mph, resulting in blowing snow causing minimal visibility that ¼ miles and also lasting for a minimum the 3 hours. Even though temperature is no taken into factor to consider here, the is usually listed below 32 ˚F or 0 ˚C. Atmosphere Canada defines blizzard together a eye storm blow snow v winds at 25mph, temperature that -25˚C or -15˚F and visibility of much less than 500 feet lasting because that over 3 hours. The Met Office in UK specifies blizzards as tool to hefty snow through winds the 30mph and visibility the 650 feet or less.

From all these interpretations it can be inferred that solid winds, heavy snow and minimal visibility are characteristic the a blizzard.

Types of Blizzards and also Winter Storms

Traditional blizzards happen with winds blow falling snow in every directions when blizzards with no snow autumn are dubbed as ground blizzards. Floor blizzards have actually very solid winds which rake increase the fallen snow and also blow that around. Floor blizzards usually take place in vast flat expanses the land where there is lot of of loose powdery eye that can be swollen by high and strong winds.

Winter storms have the right to be eye storms, freeze rain storms or wintry mixes.

Snow Storms – large amount of snow fall developing serious snow drifts, eye piles etc leading come disruption come traffic, institution transport, and also normal life. Freezing rain – this is among the most dangerous kind of winter storms. There is a presence of a heat air layer over the region but soil temperature is below freezing suggest and ambient temperature of around 0˚ C. Throughout this condition roads are frozen. Sometimes, plants and also infrastructure gets spanned by a cloak of ice and also then the storm is known as ice storm. Wintry Mixes – plenty of a time a mix of rain and also sleet is the form of precipitation seen throughout winter storms or snow and also rain alternative with temperature ranging between -2˚C and also 2˚C.

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Impact the Blizzards and Winter Storms


The most common effect that a blizzard is a whiteout. White outs are really common in the Arctic and also Antarctic throughout spring. White outs occur due to a clinical phenomenon of sunshine being reflect in every directions by the snow and ice. Snowflakes, droplets the fog and ice particles suspended in air enhance the result to together an level that sense of direction, perception of depth and balance seem to get lost. The sky and also land show up to have blended through a white paper encompassing everything. Blizzards disrupt life and also cause ns of lives, reduced productivity due to inability come reach job-related places, institutions closings, airports are closed, hold-up in shipment of products etc.

Winter storms reason havoc in areas affected. Fatality due come hypothermia and also infections by frost bites are common. Car crashes are on the rise due to slippery roads and there have the right to be power outages for days top top end. Interaction can it is in disrupted with damages to telephone lines and also even crops are ruined. Flying becomes danger with formation of rime and also graupel – rime is a repertoire of cooled cloud or fog droplets the freezes once it makes contact with one object. Therefore when ice crystals loss through rime, droplets that ice get attached come cloud droplets developing graupel. Aircrafts are specifically endangered once it passes v a cold cloud since rime can get created on that is wings.