A winter storm can range from moderate snow over a few hours to blizzard conditions with blinding wind-driven snow that last several days. Some winter storms may be large enough to affect several states while others may affect only a single community. All winter storms are accompanied by low temperatures and blowing snow which can severely reduce visibility. A severe winter storm is one that drops 4 or more inches of snow during a 12-hour period or 6 or more inches during a 24-hour span.
An ice storm occurs when freezing rain falls from clouds and freezes immediately on impact. All winter storms make driving and walking extremely hazardous. The aftermath of a winter storm can impact a community or region for days, weeks and even months.
Storm effects such as extreme cold, flooding and snow accumulation can cause hazardous conditions and hidden problems for people in the affected area.