Q: What causes a blizzard?
A: There are three weather-related components that cause a blizzard:
- Cold air: Air below freezing temperatures creates the snow. This means there needs to be cold air up in the clouds and on the ground for the snow to form and then stick.
- Moisture: You can't have snow without moisture either. Moisture can come from large lakes or the ocean. The wind picks up vapor when it blows across the surface of the water.
- Warm, rising air: The warm air needs to rise over the cold air to form a front. The front causes the precipitation (i.e. the snow). With cold air on the ground, snow accumulates and a blizzard forms.