Not any storm can be called a blizzard. There are 3 requirements

ByJeff Smith and Mike Bencivenga, Jamie Nguyen WABC logo
What is a blizzard?
Meteorologist Jeff Smith breaks down what a blizzard is.

NEW YORK -- A blizzard is a snowstorm on steroids. The term blizzard may be tossed around casually, but to officially qualify as a blizzard, a storm has to meet the following three criteria:

1. Sustained wind or frequent gusts of 35mph or greater.

2. Considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to under a quarter-mile.

3. These conditions have to continue for at least three consecutive hours!

** Click on video above for a detailed explanation **

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It's a rare combination of wicked weather elements, and that's why you won't hear the word "blizzard" too often in the Accuweather forecast!