What does a blizzard look and feel like?

(Image from the Associated Press)

The Superbowl of winter storms is churning towards New England and threatens to bury places like New York City and Boston in as much as 3 feet of snow. Not only will the snow be heavy, but the wind will be howling, with gusts projected to be as high as 45 mph.

For most of us Washingtonians, such figures are hard to imagine. I know a few Kitsap locations can relate to 3 feet of snow, but what does that look like in a 48 hour time period with gusty winds added to the mix? Perhaps I can share a little video clip that demonstrates some of the dangers of blizzards from our arctic friends in Alaska:

Have you ever heard of someone’s nostrils freezing when they breathe through their nose on a brutally cold winter day? I can vouch for that. It’s terrifying to say the least! 🙂 So if you’re a storm chaser and want to romp outside in the blizzard, at what point should you be concerned about frostbite? I believe this NWS Windchill chart should help:


So take for instance New York City. Their projected low temperature tonight is 22 degrees with wind gusting to 45 mph. On this graph that temperature will produce a windchill factor of anywhere between 5 and -2 degrees. So any storm chasers in The Big Apple should be OK tonight. In fact, air temperatures would have to drop considerably before anyone has to worry about imminent frostbite.

That is perhaps one of the saving graces of this blizzard: It’s not a very cold storm. In fact, much of New England will be back to the mid 40s by the work week.

So as much as I’d like to experience blizzard conditions on this side of the country, when you look at it from all angles it’s probably best we’re stuck with clouds, rain, and temperatures in the 40s. As a matter of fact, that’s pretty much the story for the next 7 days. And believe me, groundhog Phil’s mailbox is full of hate mail from coast to coast.

Many of you have been asking when you’ll get your deserved dosage of natural Vitamin D. Unfortunately the next week or so looks like a goopy mess of clouds, showers, and highs in the mid 40s. Stay strong! Spring will come 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com