What differentiates snow flurries from snow showers?

Dear Tom,

What differentiates snow flurries from snow showers?

Thomas Avory,
Chicago

Dear Thomas,

The difference is mainly their intensity. Snow flurries, snow showers and a third type, snow squalls, are convective in nature: They are produced by clouds that develop when rising currents of relatively warm air become saturated. This leads to showers or thunderstorms in warm temperatures, but in the cold environment of winter the clouds produce snowflakes rather than raindrops. All showery precipitation is characterized by sudden onset, rapid change in intensity, short duration and quick cessation.

Flurries are light, producing little or no accumulation. Snow showers are more vigorous and can result in significant accumulations. Snow squalls are intense, accompanied by gusty winds that must attain at least 18 mph for two minutes.

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