Winter Snow Storms:
There are two major variations between the legendary ‘Blizzard’ and the ever so famous ‘Lake Effect Snow Storm!’ Both consist of pure white outs, treacherous travel conditions (white knuckles on steering wheel), and an abundance of snow! However, a ‘Blizzard’ with its potential impact will administer high velocity winds, small to semi-large flakes and could last for hours or perhaps days where ‘Lake Effect’ will not! ‘Blizzards’ will generate through a relatively large cloud mass entering from the northern plains from Canada through an upper level cold front where ‘Lake Effect’ storms will produce its stamina over comparatively warm waters from the Great Lakes Region and maneuver through a south east direction.
A Blizzard will envelop an immense area of real-estate accompanied by a circular pattern of winds calculating to forty to record breaking fifty miles per hour! Temperatures usually descend rapidly twenty degrees or better below the freezing mark of thirty-two degrees Fahreneit. These particular storms universally travel slow and will magnify in stamina as well as coverage as a cold front generates in magnitude!
Blizzards usually occur in the Southern portions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Canada and heads south through extreme low pressures. Once this storm enters the Northern borders of the United States- the plains- it gathers strength in addition to size! In a ‘Blizzard’ condition, the snow universally travels the path of the incoming winds causing a horizontal effect and will cause white out conditions along with colossal snow drifts ranging from four- ten feet high! The depth of the snow will depend on the wind direction as well as the altitude of the cloud mass. In most cases, there could be an inch of snow in one area where another could receive a foot or better!
Lake Effect Snow will generate its stamina and velocity over the Great Lakes Region and travels in a south east direction. The storm will develop over generally warm waters as an extreme cold front will parade over the northern lakes and escalate in cloud formations. The cloud formations are of white bands. These cloud bands usually range anywhere from a few miles in length and width and travel very slowly.
The storm will produce a white glow (a reflection of mass and snow) over the covered area and you could swear that you will enter a wall of pure white cotton! At first, it will appear as a thick fog bank and once entering the wall, the snow will fall incredibly slow until the winds generate! The accumulation could average from a few inches to a foot in a short time frame as this particular storm sometimes stalls. The storm could last for several hours or perhaps days (a rare incident) depending on the direction as well as the upper wind flow. The biggest difference is the wind current- the air could be as calm as a pond of water or strong enough to make trees dance!
Trevel tips: On a highway, secondary roads (regardless of locations) leading into the storm, do not apply upper high beams on headlights- this causes instant blindness- upper beams will enhance the snow activity before the vehicle. Drive ten to fifteen miles below the posted speed limit- if safe to do so. Administer the four-ways- this provides others to see the oncoming hazards. If you can not see to travel- under extreme caution- find and locate an off ramp, a clear area, or most favorable- a rest area and pull into it. Do not pull off onto a shoulder- some motorist will not see the vehicle standing or other vehicles will follow the wrong tire paths! Turn your toggle switch to defrost on third or higher setting and keep your wipers operating! If you have your wipers on a delay operation- turn them to normal settings- this will prevent ice or frost build-up! The most common mistake- do not tailgate- if a vehicle is lost on highway- they will cause a spin-out and end up in a ditch and tailgaters will cause a chain-reaction!
The most and foremost important tip: Listen to all weather bulletins regarding the approaching storm and stay safe. Do not adventure outdoors if possible- better to be indoors watching a great movie or sharing family activities rather than being covered in snow depths waiting for a tow truck or perhaps a state authority to show up for rescue! Please be careful on this approaching winter season- prediction for this winter- a hard winter! The winters of the 70’s are returning!