CLEVELAND (WJW) — A major winter weather event is headed our way over Christmas weekend, FOX 8 meteorologists have confirmed.
As of Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued no weather alerts for Northeast Ohio, but already weather models are showing frigid temperatures and high winds are coming together for the possibility of “blizzard conditions.”
Take a look at timing below:
But, what’s the difference between a winter storm and a blizzard?
As meteorologist Scott Sabol explains, “The definition of a blizzard is three straight hours with winds at 35 mph sustained, not gusts. Falling and/or blowing snow dropping visibility under a quarter of a mile.”
The tidbit that may come as a surprise is snow does not have to be falling the entire time for a blizzard to occur and there is no specific temperature that must be hit to qualify.
A winter storm on the other hand, according to the NWS, is designated when any of the following is occurring or about to take place:
– Five inches or more of snow in a period of 12 hours or eight inches or more in 24 hours.
– So much ice that it causes tree and/or power line damage.
– When ice, snow and wind combine to cause conditions the NWS considers damaging or life-threatening.
During both a blizzard and winter storm, people are advised to stay off the roads and instead stay home, which could greatly impact holiday travel this weekend.
Check back with FOX 8 as we learn more about the storm coming our way.