blizzard, winter storm characterized by high winds, low temperatures, and driving snow; according to the official definition given in 1958 by the U.S. Weather Bureau, the winds must exceed 35 mi (56 km) per hr and the temperature 20°F ( - 7°C) or lower. Blizzards are most common in the N Great Plains states—South Dakota is sometimes called "the Blizzard State"—but they also occur as far south as Texas and as far east as Maine.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.