Fox News Weather Center

MAP: Midwest, Northeast US More Susceptible to Blizzards

The Upper Midwest and Great Plains are the most common places for a blizzard to occur in the United States, according to an analysis of National Weather Service data.

Meteorologist Devin Boyer analyzed NWS blizzard warnings between 2005 and 2015 and found the Upper Midwest/Great Plains connection.

"High winds are notorious across the Plains," Meteorologist Andy Mussoline said. "People tend to correlate blizzards and heavy snow, but it's more about the wind speeds and visibility."

The National Weather Service issues blizzard warnings based on the following criteria during at least a three-hour period: winds of 35 mph or higher and falling and/or blowing snow that brings visibilities down to one-quarter of a mile or less.

"With the terrain in the Midwest and Plains being so flat, the winds are able to be severe on a more regular basis to create blizzard conditions," Mussoline said.

While not as frequent as the Midwest and Plains, the Northeast is also susceptible for blizzards because of its proximity to the relatively warm Atlantic Ocean.

"Cold air in the Northeast and the warm ocean help fuel storms, often in conjunction with jet stream energy," Mussoline said.

Warmer air usually dominates in the Southeast U.S., making it less susceptible to blizzards, Mussoline said.