We really got hit over the weekend. Now, to be perfectly honest, I always hesitate to use the term “blizzard” since, like hurricanes, there are specific criteria that should be met before using the term. In this rare case, however, all were well within the bounds of proper usage.
In the United States and Canada the National weather services define a blizzard as a severe snow storm characterized by strong winds causing blowing snow that results in low visibilities. The difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind, not the amount of snow. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have sustained winds or frequent gusts that are greater than or equal to 56 km/h (35 mph) with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to 400 m or 0.25 mi or less and must last for a prolonged period of time—typically three hours or more.
Since Saturday evening my daughter and I have shovelled out our own and three other properties a total of seven times. Even so, I was barely able to get the front door open today due to a heavy drift up against it. Heavy snows like this are nothing unusual for the Great Lakes region but are very rare on the prairies. But when they come they don’t spare us. And for the first time in my 63 years, schools were closed all over the province. Not once did this happen when I was a student. 45 degrees below zero was never enough to keep school from opening. And previous blizzards never gave anyway pause enough to think school ought to be closed. Today’s generation has more common sense. Or maybe they’re just scared. LOL