Ground blizzard

A ground blizzard in Ontario, March 21, 2004

Lifted and blown by strong winds.

- Ground blizzard

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Severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds and low visibility, lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically at least three or four hours.

Heavy snow during the January 2016 United States blizzard.
Blizzard into Tochal Skiing resort, Tehran and involved skiers.
Drifted snow near Burrow-with-Burrow, Lancashire, England, January 1963
Near-whiteout conditions dim the far end of Times Square in New York City, 2015.
March blizzard in North Dakota, 1966.
The Brooklyn Bridge during the Great Blizzard of 1888.
Conditions approaching a blizzard whiteout in Minnesota, on March 1, 2007. Note the unclear horizon near the center.
Illustration of the Great Blizzard of 1888
A snow blockade in southern Minnesota, central US. On March 29, 1881, snowdrifts in Minnesota were higher than locomotives.
Stereoscopic view card showing "Blasting ice with dynamite from in front of steamer on the ways, by Stanley J. Morrow" ~ A view of Yankton's riverfront after the flood of March 1881.
Under the weight of snow, a tree falls next to a car in Asheville, North Carolina

A ground blizzard is a weather condition where snow is not falling but loose snow on the ground is lifted and blown by strong winds.

Winter storm

Event in which wind coincides with varieties of precipitation that only occur at freezing temperatures, such as snow, mixed snow and rain, or freezing rain.

Heavy snowfall and strong winds during a 2016 blizzard, New York City
National Guard members clear a road of fallen trees after a February 2021 winter storm in Putnam County, West Virginia.
Snow storm in Modena, Italy
Wet snow and sleet during a winter storm, on the deck of RFA Tidespring south of Plymouth in the English Channel.
Coated in ice, power and telephone lines sag and often break, resulting in power outages.
Crabapple covered in icy glaze due to freezing rain. Ice storms often coat many surfaces. Severe ice storms, which may occur in spring, can kill plant life.
2008 Chinese winter storm in Hefei, Anhui Province, China

This can even result in blizzard conditions if winds are strong enough.

Blizzard of 1977

The blizzard of 1977 hit Western New York and Southern Ontario from January 28 to February 1.

Snow drifts made travel difficult in parts of New York (February 7, 1977)
A house almost completely buried in snow in Tonawanda, New York (January 30, 1977)
Snow fighting equipment being unloaded from a C-5A at Niagara Falls International Airport

In Western New York and Southern Ontario's Niagara Peninsula, snow which was accumulated on frozen Lake Erie and snow on the ground at the start of the blizzard provided ample material for the high winds to blow into huge drifts.


Snow comprises individual ice crystals that grow while suspended in the atmosphere—usually within clouds—and then fall, accumulating on the ground where they undergo further changes.

Norwegian train plowing through drifted snow
Extratropical cyclonic snowstorm, February 24, 2007—(Click for animation.)
Frontal snowsquall moving toward Boston, Massachusetts
Cold northwesterly wind over Lake Superior and Lake Michigan creating lake-effect snowfall
Freshly fallen snowflakes
An early classification of snowflakes by Israel Perkins Warren
An animation of seasonal snow changes, based on satellite imagery
New York City during a 2016 blizzard, which
 produced local wind gusts up to 42 mph and dropped 27.5 in of snow, breaking the city's one-day snowfall record.
Snow-covered trees in Kuusamo, Finland
Fresh snow beginning to metamorphose: The surface shows wind packing and sastrugi. In the foreground are hoar frost crystals, formed by refrozen water vapor emerging to the cold surface.
Firn—metamorphosed multi-year snow
Snow drifts forming around downwind obstructions
A powder snow avalanche
Snowmelt-induced flooding of the Red River of the North in 1997
Snow pit on the surface of a glacier, profiling snow properties where the snow becomes increasingly dense with depth as it metamorphoses towards ice
Snowfall and snowmelt are parts of the Earth's water cycle.
Traffic stranded in a 2011 Chicago snowstorm.
Winter conditions on Ontario Highway 401 in Toronto due to a snowsquall.
Deicing an aircraft during a snow event
Satellite view of the Indus River, showing snow in the Himalayas, which feeds it, and agricultural areas in Pakistan that draw on it for irrigation.
Extreme snow accumulation on building roofs
Icings resulting from meltwater at the bottom of the snow pack on the roof, flowing and refreezing at the eave as icicles and from leaking into the wall via an ice dam.
Alpine skiing.
Algae, Chlamydomonas nivalis, that thrive in snow form red areas in the suncups on this snow surface
Arctic fox, a predator of smaller animals that live beneath the snow
Trucks plowing snow on a highway in Missouri
Airport snow-clearing operations include plowing and brushing
Swiss low-profile, train-mounted snowplow
Bivouac of Napoleon's Grande Armée, during the winter retreat from Moscow
Finnish ski troops during the invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union
Army vehicles coping with snow during the Battle of the Bulge of World War II.
Norwegian military preparations during the 2009 Cold Response exercise
Navy SEALs training for winter warfare at Mammoth Mountain, California.

While heavy snowfall often occurs during blizzard conditions, falling snow is not a requirement, as blowing snow can create a ground blizzard.

Natural disaster

Actual occurrence of natural hazard in the event that it significantly harms a community".

Global multihazard proportional economic loss by natural disasters as cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, floods, landslides and volcanoes
A blizzard in Maryland in 2009
Global death from natural disasters
A rope tornado in its dissipating stage, Tecumseh, Oklahoma.
Global damage cost from natural disasters
A daytime wildfire in California.
1755 copper engraving depicting Lisbon in ruins and in flames after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. A tsunami overwhelms the ships in the harbor.
A landslide in San Clemente, California in 1966
Global Number of deaths from earthquake (1960-2017)
Global number of recorded earthquake events
The Limpopo River during the 2000 Mozambique flood
A classic anvil-shaped, and clearly-developed Cumulonimbus incus
A large hailstone, about 6 cm in diameter
Fallen trees caused by the Tunguska meteoroid of the Tunguska event in June 1908.
A wildfire in California.

When high winds stir up snow that has already fallen, it is known as a ground blizzard.

Battle of Dombås

Fought between Norwegian Army infantry forces and German Fallschirmjäger paratroops in mid-April 1940.

German Junkers Ju 52 downed at Dombås
Map of the ground campaign in southern Norway in April and May, 1940. Dombås is in the centre of the top half of the map.
The road near Ulekleiv
Dombås Station, the primary objective of the German attack
Oberleutnant Herbert Schmidt after receiving his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in May 1940
Fallschirmjägers being awarded with the Iron Cross in May 1940 by General Karl Kitzinger
The book by Herbert Schmidt: Die Fallschirmjäger von Dombas, Berlin 1941

As negotiations collapsed, the Norwegians opened fire again, but a sudden ground blizzard blinded the gunners and allowed the Germans to make a counterattack and break out of their encirclement.