Snowstorms occur when tiny supercooled cloud droplets freeze and fall through the Earth's atmosphere to the ground. Blizzards are severe snowstorms characterized by strong, sustained winds (35+ mph) and lasting for 3 hours or more. Once on the ground, nature moves the fallen snow around, usually by blowing it into drifts, and less commonly by avalanches of accumulated snow on steep slopes, or by glaciers which develop after snow has persisted for multiple years and metamorphosed into glacial ice.
Snow affects such human activities as agriculture, transportation, winter sports, and warfare. It is also an important factor for consideration of loads on structures. Just about anyone who has experienced snowstorms has one that s/he recalls as "the big one." One person's "big one," however, may be run-of-the-mill for someone else. Over the years, and across the country, there have been any number of “big ones,” and this book profiles 20 of those that objectively seem to merit the appellation.