A snow squall is a brief, intense burst of heavy snowfall accompanied by strong, gusty winds. They can be dangerous because they can reduce visibility to near zero in a matter of seconds, creating whiteout conditions.
Here are some of the key characteristics of snow squalls:
- Sudden onset: They can appear out of nowhere, even on a seemingly clear day.
- Short duration: They typically last less than an hour, but they can be very intense during that time.
- Heavy snowfall: Snowfall rates can be 1-3 inches per hour, but even small amounts of snow can be dangerous if visibility is reduced.
- Strong winds: Gusts can reach 50 mph or higher, which can create blizzard-like conditions.
- Reduced visibility: Blowing snow and whiteout conditions can make it very difficult to see, even during the day.
Snow squalls are most common in the Great Lakes region and the northeastern United States, but they can occur anywhere where there is cold air and moisture. They are often associated with strong cold fronts, so it is important to be aware of the forecast if you are living in an area that is prone to snow squalls.
Here are some safety tips for driving in snow squalls:
- If you see a snow squall warning, pull over to the side of the road and find a safe place to wait for it to pass.
- Do not use your cruise control.
- Turn on your headlights and fog lights.
- Brake gently and avoid slamming on the brakes.
- Keep your eyes peeled for other vehicles and be prepared to stop suddenly.
If you are caught in a snow squall, the most important thing to do is to stay calm and drive slowly. Do not try to outrun the squall, and be patient until it passes.
I hope this information helps! Stay safe out there!