Blizzard Predictions

Blizzard predictions are made after careful review of computer models and other forecasting factors. While many people think of a blizzard as nothing more than a heavy snow occurrence it is wind speed that actually determines when a snow storm becomes something much more. In fact falling snow does not even have to be a factor. A ground blizzard can occur when snow that has already fallen is whipped up by excessive wind. Whiteout conditions can also be caused by blowing snow. These conditions can cause vehicles to collide with each other as drivers are unable to see the roadway. People have been known to die within a few feet of shelter because of the inability to see. Lake effect blizzard conditions can also be produced as a result of blowing snow.

The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as producing the following conditions that last a minimum of three hours. Sustained winds or gusts in excess of 35 miles per hour which reduce visibility to less than 440 yards. These types of storms are very dangerous. Warnings should be taken very seriously as loss of life can occur to humans and pets if exposed to blizzard conditions for any length of time. Wind chill, which is the combination of temperature and wind speed can become deadly during a blizzard resulting in death from hypothermia.

Certain factors must come together at the right time to produce blizzard conditions. The arrival of a cold front, the amount of moisture that is present, the jet stream and numerous other factors all go into the forming of the conditions the produce inclement winter weather. Weather conditions can change suddenly and a day that starts out clear, sunny and cold can quickly deteriorate into one where temperatures plummet, the wind starts to pick up and snow begins to fall producing blizzard conditions.

Predicting when and where a blizzard will occur is still an inexact science. That is why it is crucial that individuals pay close attention to their local weather forecast. There is no substitute for preparedness. Everyone should have a basic weather emergency kit. Included in this kit should be enough water and food to last a minimum of three days. Blankets, a flashlight with spare batteries and a medical first aid kit should also always be kept on hand and fully stocked. A battery operated radio is also essential as this will keep you informed about weather conditions and allow you to receive vital information from local authorities and the weather service.

It is best to stay put if the forecast calls for inclement weather. Sometimes however this is not possible. If you must travel on roadways that may become treacherous be prepared for delays, drive with extreme caution and above all use common sense. Make sure that your vehicle is in good working order and that your tires are able to handle the road conditions that you encounter.

Up to date winter forecast information including maps can be found at winter weather predictions for 2012. Tips on preparing for winter, taking care of pets, protecting your home and vehicle and much more. Learn about the greatest dangers you face during the winter months. Learn how to create and run your own weather station.