Battling a Blizzard

Did you know that it's never too cold to snow? Snow can occur at any time when the temperature is near or below freezing. When you combine snow with wind, you get a blizzard. Strong winds and steady snowfall cause the bad ones. Not to be forgotten is the ground blizzard. This happens when strong winds pick up fresh snow off the ground, even if snow is not falling, and move it. It can even happen with clear skies. Get the goods on this act of nature.

Blizzards - The History

The first time the word blizzard was used to describe a snowstorm was in the US. During the 1870s an Iowa newspaper used the word blizzard to describe a snowstorm. Up until then the word blizzard meant a canon shot or a hail of musket fire. By the 1880s snow blizzards were mentioned all across the US and in England.

Blizzards - Disappearing Act

Here's something you might not know: as the tiny grains of snow go flying by, they shrink as they slowly evaporate. We can't see or feel it, but there are instruments to measure this phenomenon. So the farther snow blows the smaller the flakes get. The reason a blizzard doesn't blow itself away is because something - buildings, cars and trees - will alway stop the snow. The good thing about blizzards is that they can bring plenty of water to areas that are usually dry.

Blizzards - Be Prepared

Don't just think of food storage as being prepared for a snowstorm. Here are some other things to have on hand just in case:

  • Batteries for a flashlight.
  • Matches.
  • Candles, enough to light your house.
  • Wood, enough for your indoor fireplace.
  • Blankets, in case there's no heat.
  • Shovel to dig your way out.
  • A way to heat the food (you will eventually run out of cereal).

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Ever Been Stuck in a Blizzard?

  • Yeah, I seem to get stuck in one every year.
  • I've been in one blizzard before.
  • No, it never snows that much where I live.
  • I've never actually seen snow before.

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