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What is a snowstorm and how does it form?

Human beings are continually affected by the characteristics of the environment in which we find ourselves, so that when it is cold we cover up, when it rains we protect ourselves from raindrops under an umbrella and when it is hot we use lighter clothing and sunscreen. The difference between some meteorological conditions and others depends on several factors, the area of ​​the planet in which we are located, its altitude, latitude, the presence of relief and the season or time of year.

We generally cope with these changes using heating or air conditioning systems and adapting our clothing to the situation. However, extreme conditions of temperature or rainfall can lead to problems in our health and cause difficulties for our survival. This happens for example in the case of snow storms. Do you know what a snowstorm is and how it forms ? Do you know in which areas these types of storms take place? In AgroCorrn we tell you everything about these natural phenomena.

What are snow storms and how do they occur

We start by explaining what a snowstorm is in a simple way. It is the natural phenomenon in which strong winds and precipitation are produced in the form of snow or ice on the earth’s surface. Depending on its intensity we can speak of snowfalls, weak snowfalls of short duration or snowstorms, snowfalls of greater intensity that can last for days.

How a snowstorm forms

For a snowstorm to occur, a mass of cold, dry air at low pressure must coincide with a mass of warm and humid air at high pressure, so that both interact with each other.

On the one hand, the thermal contrast causes upward and downward movements between air masses, causing some instability in the atmosphere and causing strong winds and precipitation.

On the other hand, in the case of snowstorms, precipitation occurs in the form of snowflakes due to the fact that the water vapor contained in the hot layer cools very quickly, turning directly into ice, without first passing through a liquid state. .

Stages of the formation of a snowstorm

  • Initial phase: in which the formation of large vertical growth and development clouds begins , known as cumulonimbus clouds, which store a large amount of water vapor.
  • Maturity phase: in the second phase it develops into a phenomenon in itself, the water vapor falls in the form of snow and strong winds are unleashed capable of reaching the surface reducing its temperature.
  • Final phase: in this last phase the storm begins to dissipate, due to the fact that the differences between the air masses equalize, with precipitation and winds ceasing.

Where do snowstorms occur?

As we have said before, the presence of one or other meteorological conditions depends on the characteristics of the territory. In this way, a meteorological phenomenon can occur frequently in some areas, while in others it can never occur.

The snowstorms , often occur in high mountain areas at a temperature below 0 degrees during the winter, although occasionally may occur in other seasons of the year. Some countries in which snowfall occurs frequently are Canada, the United States, Greenland, Norway, Russia, Greenland, Sweden, Norway and many other countries located in the northern hemisphere of the planet.

Effects of snowstorms

Depending on their duration and intensity, they can cause different effects. While some storms only last a few hours, others can last days causing considerable negative effects for humans , such as health problems (hypothermia and diseases), or damage to the environment , such as deterioration of basic services (power electricity or natural gas installations) and the reduction of visibility conditions, which are especially dangerous on roads, causing traffic accidents.

In fact, the largest snowstorms recorded have occurred in the United States, among which we can highlight the one that occurred in 1977 in New York, in which up to more than five meters of snow or the snow produced was accumulated in some areas. in 1967 in California, in which, in just 24 hours, half a meter of snow fell causing some 76 deaths.

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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