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What is a bad storm and how does it happen

A storm is a snowstorm, ice, or hailstorm of strong intensity normally generated in high mountain areas. They are very dangerous and throughout history have caused several disasters in some major cities. They have also caused the deaths of many climbers and climbers.

Blizzards are also known as snow, blizzard, or white wind. When a storm occurs, temperatures are usually below 0 degrees. One of their main characteristics and what makes them more dangerous are their strong winds. For climbers they can pose a risk of death as they make sighting extremely difficult and temperatures drop too low.

During a storm, due to strong winds, you may have thermal sensations down to -20 degrees. Winds can be steady and sharp and reach speeds of 56 km / h or higher. Generally, backlogs last about 3 hours and visibility is reduced to less than half a kilometer.

snow storm
Snow Storm

What causes a snowstorm?

Almost any place where frequent snowfall can be affected by a storm. Morer is more common that occurs in polar areas, regions near it or in high mountains. Today, the areas where most storms are most common are, for example, the United States and northern Arizona. In these places there is a low pressure system moving south and if a high pressure system develops through the Great Basin, a backward storm will occur.

Blizzards usually develop on the northwest side of a strong storm system. The big difference between high and low pressures is what makes strong winds. Recall that winds are generated through the change of pressure between one point and another. The more change there is in that atmospheric pressure, the stronger the winds will be.

On the other hand, water that remains frozen in the atmosphere remains forming crystals that adhere to others. As the ice crystals coalesce, they form up to six points of snow. Also, when the snow falls and the winds are so strong, visibility is cut in half.

In short, you could say that a storm is a bad combination of snow and wind.

Dangerous effects

Clearly, backlogs are dangerous depending on where you are. If you are at home, you will be protected. But if you get caught being outside it will be dangerous. If you do not carry protection with you, cooling the wind can cause hypothermia and, consequently, death.

If you get inside a vehicle, traffic becomes completely impossible. Visibility is reduced to 0.40 kilometers and wind gusts against the car. This can cause the driver to become disoriented and end up in an accident.

When storms are very intense they are capable of causing failures in electrical circuits and causing outages. This is because strong winds and heavy snow damage electrical wiring.

Blizzard on the mountain

We will devote a full section to describing the whole situation of storms in the mountains. As mentioned earlier, many climbers, climbers and climbers have died from them. When temperatures turn below -15 degrees and vision decreases, the situation becomes very dangerous.

When you are in high mountains, the wind hits your body with very few obstacles, unlike in cities. Keep in mind that in cities we have buildings waiting for the wind. In addition, on the mountain there are numerous elements that are not attached to the ground and can strike us. For example, ice grains that form, small branches, and rocks that move by the wind.

When a climber is climbing a mountain and is surprised by a storm, there are several effects that interfere with the trip.


The first thing you feel when you are climbing a mountain and surprised by a storm is euphoria. We can feel motivated to go up in the face of the difficulties that this implies. This can make us not see the danger of the situation well.

Loss of vision

If at the time we are climbing the mountain we do not wear protective goggles, the materials mentioned above can hit us. If it hits us in the eye, it can cause serious problems.


In a mountain there are narrower places where balance plays a fundamental role. Strong wind gusts caused by the storm can cause us to become unbalanced and fall. Also, if it is constantly affecting our face and eyes, it makes us more impatient and we lose concentration. This can lead us to make mistakes. It is highly recommended not to turn your back on the wind so that the backpack does not overtake us due to its weight.


With the euphoria we felt at first and the lack of visibility, we are building confidence. This is because we are facing a challenge to overcome. However, by not having good visibility, we lose specific reference points. You may believe you are on the right track and you are wrong. Reduced visibility causes us to have no references and, in the long run, fall into a phase of demoralization.

Psychological burden

If we are completely in a storm, the attitude we have at that moment is conditioned to get out of it. It is possible that time can play a trick on us. We may think that a few minutes can become hours. In this situation you need to have a strong determination.


With low temperatures and wind gusts, hypothermia appears in a short time. The clothes do not seem to heat up, even though we have thousands of layers. If we are exposed to the cold, our body will lower its temperature to dangerous levels. If the equipment is not of good quality or you are drenched in sweat, heat loss will be faster.

Before a mountain storm, the best decision would be to fall down. No matter where it falls, as long as the altitude decreases, the risk decreases.

With this information you will be better prepared to face a storm.



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