Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blizzard Alley

This post made me laugh. Apparently we are in "Blizzard Alley"... average 1-2 blizzards a year (41 to 74 from 1959 - 2000).

Here's a few experts that caught my eye (and made me laugh)

The annual probability of a blizzard exceeded 50 percent through all of North Dakota and Minnesota, as well as most of South Dakota, western Nebraska, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Colorado.  This includes the cities of Minneapolis, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Fargo and Grand Forks.

One reason is the terrain of generally flat land, along with some hills and streams. The lack of trees also makes a difference in that trees provide friction that can help to lessen the wind. The combination of the land and the lack of trees allows strong, cold winds to blow southward from Canada across the northern Plains.
Also, this area is frequented by strong low-pressure systems intensifying to the east of the Rocky Mountains, tapping cold, Arctic air behind them. This means significant snow events in this area are often accompanied by strong winds, sometimes exceeding blizzard criteria.
Maybe that's why I get freaked out over winter. So many blizzards. Wonder what they would say about those storms that were never marked as blizzards but came darn close!?

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