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  • Intro

  • Make some noise if you're a fan of snow!

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • Yeah!

  • We love to be outside when it snows.

  • We like to go sledding, make a snow fort, or even just take a walk!

  • But there are some times when it's definitely not a good idea to go out in the snow!

  • And one of those times is during a blizzard.

  • A blizzard is a kind of big snowstorm.

  • But it's a special one!

  • Blizzards start in the same way that some other powerful storms start: when two big

  • areas of air meet.

  • One of these big areas of air is colder, and the other is warmer.

  • To make a blizzard, the warm air gets pushed up so it's on top of the cold air.

  • Warm air on top of cold air makes conditions just right for lots of wind and water to come

  • together.

  • [Squeaks Squeaks]

  • That's true, Squeaks, blizzards don't usually have rain.

  • They have snow!

  • But remember what snow is made of?

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • It's frozen water.

  • Since the air that's on the bottom of the storm and closer to the ground is cold, the

  • water can freeze into snow.

  • Scientists say that for a snowstorm to be considered an official blizzard, three things

  • have to happen.

  • First, to be a blizzard, a snowstorm has to have a lot of wind.

  • And the wind has to blow pretty hard!

  • Winds in a blizzard have to blow at least 55 kilometers an houras fast as a car

  • driving down the street!

  • That makes it strong enough to blow around things that are outside, like lawn furniture

  • or garbage cans.

  • Second, the visibility in a blizzard has to be pretty low.

  • Visibility is just how far you can see.

  • When things like fog, snow, clouds, or rain get in the way, you can't see as far, so

  • we'd say the visibility goes down.

  • For example, on a clear sunny day, you might be able to see as far as the mountains in

  • the distance, which is pretty far!

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • Right, as long as there's nothing in the way, like trees or buildings.

  • But in a blizzard, visibility goes way down.

  • You might only be able to see two blocks down the street, or even less!

  • You can't see very far in a blizzard because of the snow that's falling from the sky

  • and being blown around by all that wind.

  • In some really strong blizzards, there might be no visibilitymeaning you wouldn't

  • be able to see much of anything at all, even if it's only a few meters or feet away!

  • Sometimes when there's no visibility like that people will call it a “whiteout.”

  • That means the blowing snow makes it pretty difficult, if not impossible to see anything

  • but the color white!

  • Now, the third thing that separates blizzards from ordinary snowstorms is time.

  • To be a blizzard, a snowstorm has to last three hoursor longer.

  • So you can see why blizzards are some serious storms!

  • Have you noticed that there's one thing we haven't talked about when it comes to

  • what makes a blizzard a blizzard?

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • Oh, you know what, Squeaks, that's not what I was thinking of, but you're right: we

  • didn't talk about how cold a blizzard is.

  • Well, blizzards usually are very cold, but they don't have to be a certain amount of

  • cold to be called a blizzard.

  • But we also didn't talk about how much snow a blizzard has to have!

  • That's because blizzards don't have to have a lot of snow.

  • But they usually do have tons of it!

  • Lots of blizzards leave behind so much snow that it's taller than you, and some leave

  • behind even morethe snow can even be taller than me!

  • There are some places where big areas of warm and cold air meet pretty often during the

  • winter, so they get blizzards all the time.

  • For example, there are lots of blizzards right in the middle of the United States and Canada

  • because cold, dry air comes down from the North Pole and meets the warm, wet air coming

  • up from the water near Mexico.

  • Places like the Northeastern US, parts of the UK, Romania, Iran, and China can also

  • get some pretty big blizzards!

  • We just had a blizzard where we live a few days ago.

  • But since it's not snowing at all right now, I think it's the perfect time for us

  • to go outside and build a snowman!

  • C'mon, Squeaks, let's get bundled up!

  • Thanks for joining us!

  • If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button,

  • and we'll see you next time here at the Fort!

  • Outro


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B2 US visibility air cold air warm wind blow

The Biggest Snowstorms!

  • 11 2
    joey joey posted on 2021/05/09
Video vocabulary