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Blizzards - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Blizzards. What are blizzards?. People usually just define a blizzard as “wind blowing snow everywhere” Characterized as strong winds but low temperatures Not to be confused with snow storms Temperatures will be at freezing temperatures. .

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What are blizzards?

  • People usually just define a blizzard as “wind blowing snow everywhere”
  • Characterized as strong winds but low temperatures
  • Not to be confused with snow storms
  • Temperatures will be at freezing temperatures.
  • The National Weather Service identifies a blizzard as:
  • A great amount of falling or blowing snow over 56km/h.
  • Visibilities are reduced to 400 meters for 3 hours or more.


  • Blizzards tend to occur most in countries far away from the Equator, and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn
  • Places in the North of U.S.A sometimes experience blizzards, Washington often have at least one per every 4 years.
  • This could be due to the fact that it is farther away from the Equator.
  • In the Southern Priories of Canada, blizzards also often occur.
  • Equator and the Tropical zones can’t have snow as they are too hot

Tropic of Cancer

Tropical zone


Tropic of Capricorn


The Great Blizzard of 1888

  • The day before the blizzard happened, there were heavy rains which turned to snow as temperature dropped
  • The storm began at midnight on March 12th and went on for a day and a half
  • The NWS estimated that it dumped 1.3m of snow in Connecticut, Massachusetts.
  • New Jersey and New York , 1m.
  • The storm produced winds up to 129 km/h
  • On March 15th New York Central Park Observatory reported that the minimum temperature was -14.4°C and an average daytime temperature being -12.8°C.

This is a surface analysis taken on March 12th 1888



  • Telegraph communications were disabled
  • This cut off Montreal and most of the large Northeastern US cities.
  • (Because of this, New York started putting telegraphs and telephones underground.)
  • 200 ships were wrecked or grounded from Chesapeake Bay through to New England.
    • This resulted in 100 deaths of seamen
  • Severe floods occurred due to the melting of snow, this especially happened in Brooklyn.

The Total Damage cost up to 1.2 Billion U.S dollars

The Death toll was around 400 people. One of them was a former U.S Senator.


How to protect yourselves

  • To know when a blizzard is coming, listen to the radio or watch weather forecasts on T.V. Meteorologists can predict when a blizzard is going to occur.
  • Some signs would be particularly strong winds, below freezing temperatures and moist air.
  • If at home or at work make sure to have these available:
  • Extra batteries and flashlight
  • Portable weather radio (may be only way to communicate to the outside world)
  • High energy foods such as dried food or candy
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Heating fuel

If you are caught in one


Use a radio to be ahead of the storm. Just in case anything worse would happen or if it over.

Fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of your nose should be kept warm as they are frozen easily.


Symptoms: memory loss, uncontrollable shivering, incoherence, slurred speech or drowsiness. If persons temperature is below 35°C take a immediate action. Warming the core temperature is the first priority, put a warm blanket over neck and head. Do not give alcohol, this makes you feel warmer, but instead lowers your core temperature.


  • Do not eat snow, it will lower your temperature, melt it first.
  • Try to find shelter and stay dry.
  • Start a fire for heat and attention
  • Place rocks around fire, they absorb the heat and can emit it even after the fire is out.