What’s the difference between “snow flurries” and “snow showers”?

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Dear Tom,
You occasionally mention “snow flurries” and at other times “snow showers.” What’s the difference?
— Bob Ribeiro, Crystal Lake?

Dear Bob,
Snow flurries are defined as light snow showers, lasting only a short period of time (usually a few minutes). There is little or no accumulation of snow. Snow showers are more intense and characterized by rapidly changing visibility and rates of snowfall. Snow accumulation usually results. The definitions of both terms are somewhat vague. In the Chicago area, snow flurries and snow showers usually develop in outbreaks of cold, unstable arctic air.
Snow flurries and snow showers can occur, and indeed often do occur, with a variable sky condition. If it is during the day, there will be intervals of sunshine mixed with cloudiness; if at night, a partly cloudy or mostly cloudy sky.

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