Severe Weather 101

Types of Winter Weather

Winter Storms

A winter storm is a mix of hefty snow, blowing eye and/or attention wind chills. A winter storm is life-threatening.

You are watching: Heavy snowfall combined with blowing snow results in a

Blizzards are dangerous winter storms that are a mix of blowing snow and also wind result in really low visibilities. While hefty snowfalls and also severe cold regularly accompany blizzards, they are not required. Sometimes strong winds choose up snow that has currently fallen, developing a soil blizzard.

An ice storm is a storm which results in the accumulation of at the very least .25” of ice cream on exposed surfaces. They produce hazardous driving and also walking conditions. Tree branches and powerlines can conveniently snap under the load of the ice.

Lake result storms space not low pressure mechanism storms. Together a cold, dry air fixed moves over the great Lakes regions, the air picks up several moisture native the an excellent Lakes. This air, now full of water, dumps the water as snow in locations generally to the south and also east the the lakes.

Snow squalls room brief, intense eye showers accompanied by strong, gusty winds. Buildup may be significant. Snow squalls are ideal known in the an excellent Lakes region.

Types that Winter PrecipitationSnow

Most precipitation that develops in wintertime clouds starts out together snow since the peak layer the the storm is generally cold enough to produce snowflakes. Snowflakes are simply collections of ice crystals that cling to each various other as they autumn toward the ground. Precipitation proceeds to autumn as snow when the temperature stays at or listed below 0 degrees Celsius from the cloud basic to the ground.

Snow Flurries. Light snow falling for quick durations. No buildup or irradiate dusting is all that is expected.Snow Showers. Snow falling at varying intensities for quick periods that time. Some accumulation is possible.Snow Squalls. Brief, intense snow showers attach by strong, gusty winds. Accumulation may be significant. Snow squalls are best known in the an excellent Lakes Region.Blowing Snow. Wind-driven eye that to reduce visibility and also causes significant drifting. Punch snow might be eye that is fall and/or loosened snow on the ground choose up by the wind.Blizzards. Winds over 35mph with snow and also blowing snow, reduce visibility come 1/4 mile or less for at the very least 3 hours.

Precipitation drops as snow as soon as the temperature remains at or listed below 0 levels Celsius indigenous the cloud base to the ground.<+>


Sleet occurs when snowflakes only partially melt as soon as they autumn through a shallow class of warmth air. These slushy drops refreeze together they next autumn through a deep great of freezing air over the surface, and also eventually reach the ground as frozen rain drops the bounce ~ above impact.


Sleet drops when snowflakes partly melt as they fall, and then refreeze before they with the ground.<+>

Freezing Rain

Freezing rain occurs when snowflakes descend right into a warmer layer of air and also melt completely. When these liquid water drops loss through another thin great of freeze air just above the surface, lock don"t have enough time come refreeze prior to reaching the ground. Because they room “supercooled,” they instantly refreeze upon call with anything that that is in ~ or listed below 0 degrees C, producing a glaze of ice on the ground, trees, strength lines, or various other objects. A significant accumulation of freeze rain lasting several hrs or much more is dubbed an ice storm.


Freezing rain drops when snowflakes melt totally before reaching the surface, and refreeze upon contact with anything that is in ~ or listed below 0 degrees C.<+>

What us do: The NWS"s dual-polarized radars sends out both horizontally and vertically polarized electromagnetic waves. As these perpendicular fields bounce off an item and space received ago at the radar, a computer system program individually processes information around the horizontal and vertical measurement of the particles. This cross-section now offers forecasters a measure up of the size and also shape that the object. With this information, forecasters can plainly identify rain, hail, snow, ice cream pellets and also even bugs. If they understand what kind of precipitation is falling, they will make much more accurate estimates of just how much to expect.

See more: In What Do Plants Store Energy As, In What Form Do Plants Store Energy to be a leader and major contributor come the scientific and engineering advance of dual-polarized weather radar, now mounted on the NWS weather radars. Dual-polarization radar can clearly identify rain, hail, snow, or ice pellets inside the clouds.