NEW YORK - "Wow, it's a blizzard out there!"
Despite heavy snow--falling as fast as 2 inches per hour--NYC is experiencing a major winter storm, not a blizzard.
Blizzards are a combination of blowing snow and wind that results in low visibility--ultimately making for a much more dangerous winter storm.
Although Metro and suburban NY, NJ, and CT will likely see 6 to 8+ inches of snow Tuesday, the storm has not reached blizzard conditions.
Update: @NWSNewYorkNY has upgraded the Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning, meaning increased confidence levels in the previous forecast.
NYC remains under a Travel Advisory for tonight through tomorrow. More info: https://t.co/llTov27kWe https://t.co/bIH2vsJbzv
— NYC Emergency Management (@nycemergencymgt) February 12, 2024
Three critical conditions must be met for a snowstorm to be considered a blizzard:
Has to snow hard enough to reduce visibility to less than ¼ of a mile
Wind gusts must reach at least 35 mph
The first two criteria must last three hours or longer
Put these three together and you've got yourself a blizzard.
Temperatures and snowfall amounts are not considered in the definition of a blizzard.
The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm with large amounts of snow OR blowing snow, with winds above 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 mile for at least 3 hours.
Driving can be especially dangerous or even impossible due to low visibility and slippery roads.
The combination of strong winds and cold temperatures combined to make it even more difficult.
Most blizzards will also feel colder and windier because of the low wind chills.
NYC travel advisory
NY roads closed
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NJ roads closed
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CT roads closed
NYC train delays
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