Sometimes things just aren't as they seem...

All my life until today, I always thought the terms "snowstorm" and "blizzard" were basically interchangeable. I never gave it a second thought. I just assumed blizzard was the smart people way for saying the snow was just downright awful. As it turns out, they are very different things.

I mean, why would you think there was any kind of difference? In retrospect, I've used blizzard totally wrong on many occasions. Again, living under the assumption that blizzard was just a proper way to put it, I've used it to describe any amount of snow over like six inches. But blizzards actually have almost nothing to do with snowfall amounts.

There are three main criteria for a blizzard.

Basically, according to WMTW, blizzards require three elements: high winds over 35 mph, visibility less than a quarter-mile, and it has to last at least three hours. But ultimately, the snowfall has nothing to do with it. So in theory, we could get just a few inches of snow, but if all three criteria were met, it'd be classified as a blizzard.

I've used it to describe any amount of snow over like 6 inches. But blizzards actually have almost nothing to do with snowfall amounts.

So as far as this weekend goes, parts of Maine could totally see blizzard conditions, while other spots technically may not. For instance, here in Bangor, winds are only supposed to be 25-35mph. While that will get close to the magic wind speed, unless it hits the other two aspects, it's just a really crappy snowstorm.

So as we deal with the weather we have headed our way, you should definitely be the smarty pants that everyone always loves, and inform them of how wrong they are for throwing around weather terms incorrectly. Because everyone loves to hear how stupid they are. But hey, at least you'll know you're right!

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