What is a blizzard anyway???

“Dear Tom,

What is a blizzard? I’ve never heard that word used for Chicago.

–Rebecca Johnston, Chicago

Dear Rebecca,

The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as an intense winter storm with sustained winds of 35 mph or more and sufficient snow in the air (snow that is falling and/or “old” snow raised into the air from the ground) to reduce visibility to less than one-quarter mile for at least three hours. By those standards, a blizzard is rare in the Chicago area. Blizzards in the U.S. occur mainly in the northern and central Plains.

A “severe blizzard” has even more harsh criteria: sustained winds of at least 45 mph, temperatures at or below 10 degrees and zero visibility. Visibility less than 100 meters (330 feet) is usually reported as “zero.” As with a blizzard, these conditions must persist for at least three hours.”

via What is a blizzard? I’ve never heard that word used for Chicago. – Chicago Weather Center.

Unless you are under a rock somewhere, you have been hearing that Chicagoland and much of the rest of the U.S in preparing for a “blizzard”.

The snow outside is coming down sideways at this time and I am enjoying it from the warmth of my kitchen. My dogs are sleeping soundly without a clue as to what they will face shortly when I open the door to let them outside for their afternoon run.

Yesterday, I went to stock up on some groceries as I do most Mondays….what a scene. You would think that the stores were never going to open again. People were frantically buying all the staples they could get their hands on and anything else in their sight.

My driveway has already been plowed once and I expect that they will be back to do it over again soon.  Come to think of it I should have made a last-minute trip to the ATM…oh well.

The wind is picking up so we could actually lose electricity which could make this a very long and cold night ahead.

Well, better go and find the flashlights and the matches for the fireplace.

For those of you in Florida enjoy the pictures of us shoveling out tomorrow.

About lorettelavine

Wife, mother, grandmother, registered nurse, licensed clinical social worker, blogger. Parent and child advocate, involved in life.
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