A blizzard is expected to blast the northeastern United States over the next two days. Different than a typical winter storm, a blizzard is characterized more by its winds than the amount of snow it produces.
According to the National Weather Service, a blizzard means the following conditions prevail for three hours or longer:
- Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35mph or higher, and
- Considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to ¼ mile or less.
These conditions heighten the risk for power outages and often produce whiteout conditions on roadways, making travel extremely dangerous.