What a person considers a snowstorm can vary depending on your geographic location.
In order to be a blizzard, a location must experience sustained or frequent wind gusts of 35 miles per hour or greater in addition to having considerable falling/and or blowing snow that reduces visibility below a quarter of a mile.
Blizzard conditions are extremely hazardous for traveling and these whiteout conditions often result in numerous vehicular accidents, even if falling snow has ended.
This is often the case in the Plains and Midwest, where wind gusts to 50 mph often follow powerful winter storms, creating whiteout conditions for days.
The National Weather Service will issue blizzard watches and warnings when blizzard conditions are anticipated in a given forecast region, sometimes 48 hours in advance.