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Storms and Blizzards

The word 'storm' originates from the Proto-Germanic word “sturmaz”, which means noise or tumult. A storm is just that! It is used to describe violent weather such as high winds, thundershowers, heavy hail, rain or snow. Anything that is “tumultuous” in weather is a storm!

Vocabulary words:

Tumultuous: something that is loud, disorderly and uncontrolled.

But then how are these storms formed?

There are many kinds of storms:

  1. Snowstorms and Blizzards
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Firestorms
  4. Cyclones
  5. Sandstorms
  6. Tornados

Snowstorms and Blizzards

As the name suggests, a snowstorm is a storm that is accompanied by large amounts of snowfall. Snow collects on the surface of our Earth and can be very disruptive – making traffic come to a halt! Countries that receive a lot of snowfall find efficient ways of removing the snow, and ensuring there is as little interruption as possible.


A blizzard is a snowstorm where the snow and wind move at fierce speeds. Wind speed in a blizzard is closer to 56 km/hr. (35 mph). Snow, that accompanies it, reduces visibility to below 400 metres. Temperatures may fall up to −12 °C (10 °F) or lower. Basically, really bad snowstorms are blizzards.

Ground blizzards are wind storms that are not accompanied by snow. During a ground blizzard, the snow on the ground gets lifted by the wind. It is somewhat like a sandstorm in the desert but with snow!

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