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A blizzard is defined as: 

  • Winds of 35 miles per hour (56 km/hour) or greater

  •  …with considerable snow, reducing visibility to ¼ mile or less

  •  …for a period of three hours or more 

Spring blizzards can be especially costly in ranch country because they coincide with calving season. Below are pictures of a rancher going out on horseback to check on his herd (drifts too deep for a truck), a newborn calf in the snow, and what it looks like when wind-driven snow freezes to a herd of cattle.


South Dakota blizzard, March 31, 2009


Blizzard winds can create another interesting artifact on lakes. If the ice sheet has already melted, strong winds produce waves which can freeze immediately in the cold air. This resulting pile of ice cubes was nearly fifteen feet high.  

Lake Poinsett, SD, March 31, 2009

Lake Poinsett, SD, March 31, 2009

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