Differences between blizzard warning and winter storm warning

From Dec. 20, 2006: A worker with airport operations tries to navigate white out conditions at Denver International Airport. (Photo: Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

BOULDER, Colo. — Blizzard warnings were issued for several counties on Tuesday morning, including the Denver area, as a strong late-winter storm takes aim at Colorado.

Blizzard warnings were issued for Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties. It lasts from 10 a.m. Wednesday to midnight.

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Several other counties are under a winter storm warning as the storm gets set to move in on Wednesday morning.

What is a blizzard warning?

The National Weather Service says it issues a blizzard warning when severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring.

That includes blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibility, leading to whiteout conditions and making travel extremely dangerous.

It advises people to not travel in blizzard conditions, but if they do, they should have a winter survival kit.

The blizzard warning is issued for winter storms with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher with considerable falling or blowing snow and visibility of less than one-quarter of a mile.

What is a winter storm warning?

A winter storm warning is issued for a significant winter weather, including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow. Travel becomes difficult or impossible in some situations.

Bottom line: A blizzard warning is a winter storm warning but includes strong winds, reduced visibility and hazardous driving conditions.

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