What’s the difference between a snow storm and a blizzard? Does the International Cabal of Television Weather Personalities have a specific definition of how much snow must accumulate in a certain amount of time in order for something to be a blizzard?
There is a meteorological definition of blizzard. The National Weather Service uses this:
According to my trusty Associated Press Stylebook (the AP is a MUCH bigger cabal than the Television Weather Personalities) the definition of a blizzard, which they derive from the National Weather Service, is:
Wind speeds of 35 mph or more and considerable falling and/or blowing of snow with visibility near zero.
So it’s not just a lot of snow, but high winds and low visibility that make a blizzard.
Now this is a Blizzard :
Makes 1 serving
1 Heath candy bar
2 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon fudge topping
Freeze the Heath bar.
Break the candy into tiny pieces with a knife handle before re- moving from wrapper.
Combine all of the ingredients in the blender and blend for 30 seconds on medium speed. Stop the blender to stir the mixture with a spoon; repeat until well mixed.
Pour into a 16-ounce glass.
You can also make this treat with a variety of other candy ingredients. Some of the more popular Dairy Queen add-ins include pieces of Butterfinger candy bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Oreo cookies. Now’s your chance to be creative.
Also, corporate procedure dictates that when a customer is served a Blizzard in a Dairy Queen outlet, the server must turn the cup upside down quickly to confirm the thickness of the treat before handing it over. If everything is in order, the Blizzard won’t “kerplop” onto the counter in front of you.
After using a conventional blender in this recipe (not a commercial mixer as found in Dairy Queens), your Blizzard may not be quite as thick as its commercial counterpart.
If you would like a thicker treat, after pouring the mixture into your cup, simply place it in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it reaches the desired consistency. Then give it your own thickness test. Cross your fingers and turn the cup upside down. Have a towel handy.
It surprises me, but even the experts cannot agree on the technical definition of a blizzard. While I had heard the first definition (as mentioned above) on the local TV channels, there is a different definition WITH a temperature requirement!
I quote from the book entitled “National Audubon Society’s Field Guide to North American Weather”, © 1997, published by Alfred A. Knopf under advisement of Drs. David M. Ludlum, Richard A. Keen, and Ronald L. Holle - three Ph.Ds in meteorology:
“A severe winter storm characterized by low temps (10 F/-12.2 C) or below, wind speeds of 32 mph (5 kph) or higher, blowing snow, and visibility of 500 ft (152 m) or less.”
The NWS has their definition, and issues warnings according to it. Their warnings, their rules.
For a nontechnical simplistic term, blizzard is to snowstorm as hurricane is to rainstorm.Courtesy of one of the weather channel gurus.
Seems you can use a little leeway in the tv reporting genre,as long as it’s snowing and blowing fiercely.
You’re not kidding! All day long yesterday all I heard over and over and over again was "Stay Tuned to WXYZ for continuing coverage of the (cue the flashy “Blizzard '03” graphic) Blizzard of 2003 (echo, echo, echo) only to have the weather guy keep repeating “Technically it isn’t really a blizzard because…”