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What is a Snow Squall? New York City hit by the Snow Squalls

Snow Squall in New York City
Pedestrians observe a snow squall in Times Square Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Snow Squall warning messages buzzed the phones around the whole New York City on Wednesday afternoon. National Weather Service had warned about Snow Squall hitting the City and the same warning has been issued for 13 New Jersey counties and Connecticut. This all buzz about Snow Squall warning is making people wonder about what snow squall. For the last two years, National Weather Service is using this term “Snow Squall” and it is actually new for all of us.

If you have already seen videos on Twitter or on other social media platforms about Snow Squalls then you might have noticed Snow Squall seems like the entrance scene of White Walkers in the Game of Thrones. Here’s what Snow Squalls are and how could they affect you and our city?

What are Snow Squalls? Everything you need to know about Snow Squalls

Snow Squall is an intense short-lived burst of heavy snow. It leads to a quick reduction in visibility, like a whiteout. Snow Squalls is often accompanied by Gusty Winds. It can be dangerous due to the quick loss of visibility and slick roads. Snow Squalls have been known to lead to high-speed wrecks and pileups on highways.  They, usually, occur in the day time and last for a few hours (an hour or two) and leave snow at the places.

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According to National Weather Service, They move in and move rapidly can last for less than an hour. It can also occur where there is no sign of a large winter storm and these sudden gusty winds can affect the visibility so travelers and motorists should drive accordingly.

What is the difference between Snow Storms and Snow Squalls?

Well, there are many similarities between Snow Squall and Snow Storm but the main difference is the time duration of this event. Snow Storm can last for several hours and sometimes for days while Snow Squall lasts for an hour or less than it.

Snow Squall Warnings – What to do when there is Snow Squall Warning in my area?

Snow Squall warnings are quick and for a short time for the specific areas. Such warnings issued by NWS carry some live-saving and critical information.

When Snow Squall warnings are issued in your area then kindly avoid travel by cars or bikes on the highways. Highways are never safe in the Snow Squall as the visibility is very short in this period. If you are already on the road with your vehicle then reduce your speed and turn headlights and parking lights. Keep a safe distance between vehicles ahead of you. The icy road may pose the risk of loss of car control so don’t rush when driving.

Should I be worried when there is Snow Squall?

Snow Squalls lasts for less than an hour so no need to worry about any hazardous things. But avoid driving in this duration. So be safe and secure when there is snow squall warning.

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Here’s how Snow Squall happens

These time-lapse videos were posted on Twitter about the Snow Squall that hit New York City today.


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