HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — This weekend will mark the 29th anniversary of the famous blizzard of '93 that dumped 12 straight hours of heavy snow and covered all 67 Alabama counties in snow. Wind gusts exceeded 50 MPH in some places, and some areas measured 20+ inches of snow accumulation. This weekend we're expected to see another winter storm across northern Alabama into portions of Tennessee, but will it turn into a blizzard?
For a winter storm to be considered a blizzard, first we would need to experience sustained winds or frequent wind gusts of 35+ MPH... Right now wind gusts are forecasted to be between 30-40 MPH, prompting for a wind advisory to go into effect tonight and last until lunchtime Saturday. If snowfall is relatively heavy and you mix that with considerable amounts of fast-falling snow, that will aid in reducing visibility, but visibility needs to be reduced to under 1/4 of a mile. These conditions need to last for 3+ consecutive hours.
While wind gusts of 35+ are forecasted as well as heavy falling snow, it's not expected to last 3+ consecutive hours. Most of us will experience snowfall through the overnight, and snowfall should be over for all of the Tennessee Valley by early Saturday morning. So while this is not expected to turn into a blizzard, some of us will experience blizzard-like conditions.