What is Snow Squall?

Discover what a snow squall is and how it can impact your safety on the road. Learn about the characteristics, examples, case studies, and statistics related to snow squalls.


Winter weather can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, especially when it comes to snow squalls. What exactly is a snow squall and how does it differ from other types of winter precipitation?


A snow squall is a sudden and intense burst of snowfall that can reduce visibility and create hazardous driving conditions. Unlike a snowstorm, which is characterized by continuous snowfall over a longer period, a snow squall is typically short-lived but intense.


  • Rapid onset
  • High snowfall rates
  • Poor visibility
  • Gusty winds
  • Cold temperatures


In January 2018, a snow squall in Pennsylvania triggered a massive pileup on Interstate 76, involving over 50 vehicles. The sudden whiteout conditions caught drivers off guard, leading to multiple injuries and extensive property damage.

Case Studies

In a study conducted by the National Weather Service, it was found that snow squalls are responsible for a significant number of traffic accidents each winter. Drivers are often unprepared for the sudden decrease in visibility and the rapid accumulation of snow on roadways.


According to the Federal Highway Administration, snow squalls are a contributing factor in 20% of weather-related crashes in the United States. This highlights the importance of being vigilant and prepared when driving in winter weather conditions.


In conclusion, a snow squall is a sudden and intense burst of snowfall that can pose serious risks to motorists and pedestrians. By understanding the characteristics of a snow squall and taking precautions, we can mitigate the dangers associated with this winter weather phenomenon.

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