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What’s the Difference Between a Blizzard Warning and a Winter Storm Warning

Sun December 12 2010 12:00 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=33910
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Galena, Illinois and cities in Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and southwest Wisconsin were under a Blizzard Warning, while the Chicago Area was under a Winter Storm Warning.

A Blizzard Warning is actually a specific extension of a Winter Storm Warning involving blowing snow that decreases visibility.

A Winter Storm Warning involves hazardous winter weather conditions when threats to life and/or property are occurring, imminent or likely. The generic term, winter storm warning, is used for a combination of two or more of the following winter weather events; heavy snow, freezing rain, sleet and strong winds.

A Blizzard Warning is an event-specific warning beyond a Winter Storm Warning that is issued for emphasis of a single weather hazard involving high winds and blowing snow that causes reduced visibility …


Blizzard Warning – Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater, considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility frequently to 1/4 mile or less for a period of three hours or more. There are no temperature criteria in the definition of a blizzard but freezing temperatures and 35 mph winds will create sub-zero wind chills.

The other event-specific warnings are Heavy Snow Warning, Ice Storm Warning and Heavy Sleet Warning.

Heavy Snow Warning – Snowfall of 6 inches or more in 12 hours or less, or 8 inches or more in 24 hours or less.

Lake Effect Snow Warning – Lake effect snowfall of 6 inches or more in 12 hours or less, or 8 inches or more in 24 hours or less.

Ice Storm Warning – Accumulations of 1/4 inch or more of freezing rain.

Heavy Sleet Warning
– Accumulations of 1/2 inch or more of sleet.

CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Sunday, December 12th, 2010

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