DENVER (CBS4) – The winter storm set to bring major impacts to Colorado for the upcoming weekend may not have enough wind to be technically classified a blizzard.
A Winter Storm Warning is very likely to be issued for Denver and much of the Front Range as the weekend approaches. At this time, it seems unlikely there will be a Blizzard Warning because the necessary criteria may not materialize.
There is no specific amount of snow needed for a storm to be called a blizzard. What is needed is snow combined with wind and significantly reduced visibility.
In Colorado, it takes sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater and falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility frequently to less than 1/4 mile for 3 or more hours.
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At this time, it seems the period of strongest wind associated with the weekend storm will be Saturday night and wind speeds should stay below blizzard criteria.