Societal Impacts of Blizzards in the Conterminous United States, 1959–2000

  • Robert M. Schwartz


Many individuals think of tornadoes and hurricanes when considering weatherrelated storms. However, severe winter storms are significant natural hazards as they cause disruptions to transportation, damage to buildings, closure of schools and businesses, loss of electricity, and hazards to human health (Rooney 1967; Helburn 1982). Geographers have a strong tradition of examining various natural hazards. Mileti (1999: 302) updated the hazards assessment in the United States pioneered by White and Haas (1975), and stated that “a blizzard map” was needed for the United States. Additionally, research regarding climate change identified a need for a reference baseline for climate model validation to identify trends in weather-related hazards frequencies and severities (Mileti 1999: 304). The wide and severe economic and societal impacts associated with blizzards demonstrate the value of studying the societal impacts by examining the spatial and temporal patterns of blizzards along with the societal impacts. This included the population in affected counties, fatalities, injuries, economic damage, and the number of federally declared disaster areas.


Tropical Cyclone Natural Hazard Property Damage Federal Emergency Management Agency Societal Impact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Helburn, N. 1982. Severe Winter Storms as Natural Hazards. Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Geographic Journal 10: 86–95.Google Scholar
  2. Mileti, D. S. 1999. Disasters by Design, A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Washington, D.C.: John Henry Press.Google Scholar
  3. Storm Data. 1959–2000. Ashville, NC: National Climatic Data Center.Google Scholar
  4. National Weather Service (NWS). 1999. National Weather Service Says: Know Your Winter Weather Terms. Washington, D.C.: National Weather Service. (last accessed 13 September 2002).Google Scholar
  5. Rooney, J. F. 1967. The Urban Snow Hazard in the United States: An Appraisal of Disruption. Geographical Review 57: 538–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Schwartz, R. M. 2001. Geography of Blizzards in the Conterminous United States, 1959–2000. Ph.D. dissertation, Kent State University.Google Scholar
  7. Schwartz, R. M. and T. W. Schmidlin. 2002. Climatology of Blizzards in the Conterminous United States, 1959–2000. Journal of Climate 15: 1765–1772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. White, G. F. and J. E. Haas. 1975. Assessment of Research on Natural Hazards. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Ball State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations