CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A lot of us have been smacked by what you might was a blizzard, but there are four very specific criteria that have to be met to go down as a true blizzard.
A true blizzard is pretty rare, and according to the National Weather Service in Northeast Ohio (NWS) the last three blizzards in Northeast Ohio were March of 2008, December of 2004 and December of 1995.
Here are the four criteria needed to be recorded as a blizzard with the NWS;
- Sustained wind or frequent gusts greater than or equal to 35 miles per hour
- Falling and/or blowing snow
- Frequently reducing visibility to less than a quarter of a mile
- Must last three hours or more
According to Cleveland 19 Meteorologist Sam Roberts, while the NWS might issue a blizzard warning, most are officially recorded after the fact once all conditions are reviewed.
As for this weekend, “It certainly is possible,” Roberts said. “Especially Saturday night with the high winds we’re expecting. Really from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m..”
The “Great Blizzard of 1978” that hit Ohio and the Northeast, is widely considered the worst blizzard of all time, which lasted three days in January.
In Ohio alone 51 people died as a result of the storm.