COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND — A blizzard could form in the U.S. between January 15 and January 18, according to forecast models on the Tropical Tidbits simulator, with The Global Forecast System and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts suggesting a low-pressure system will pass through the U.S.’s Southeast coast Sunday, before moving up the Mid-Atlantic coast Monday.
Low and high pressure exerted by Earth's atmosphere cause changes in weather, with air naturally wanting to flow from high pressure to low pressure, according to the U.K. Met Office.
According to Sciencing.com, in a blizzard, cold air from the north and warm air from the south move toward the low pressure.
Subsequently the cold air is forced under the lighter warm air, which in turn cools and releases its moisture.
As that moisture drops through the cold air, it freezes and falls as snow.
The clash between the storm’s low pressure and the high pressure beyond it creates the strong wind.
A blizzard can ultimately occur if temperatures are below freezing at ground level and in the clouds, and there is enough moisture in the air to allow clouds and snow to form.
Blizzards are defined by the National Weather Service as severe snowstorms that last for at least three hours, with snow that reduces visibility to under a quarter of a mile, and winds above 35 miles, or 56 kilometers, per hour.