Brooklyn Boro

What is a squall? (And other things you should know)

December 18, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick
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A snow squall warning is in effect for counties across the tri-state area, including Brooklyn’s Kings County, the National Weather Service announced shortly after 3 p.m. this afternoon.

A snow squall, according to the agency, is “an intense short-lived burst of heavy snowfall that leads to a quick reduction in visibilities and is often accompanied by gusty winds.” Often referred to as a “whiteout,” a snow squall can lead to suddenly slick conditions on icy roadways and, in worst cases, high speed wrecks and pile ups.

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At about 3:18 p.m., “a dangerous snow squall” was said to be making its way southeast from Tolland, Connecticut at 35 miles per hour. Wind gusts are expected to reach 40 miles per hour.

Brooklyn’s weather warning is in effect until 5:30 p.m. While the National Weather Service doesn’t estimate what time the squall will touch down in Kings County, it initially predicted it will reach Todt Hill in Staten Island at about 4:05 p.m. (That estimate has since been removed from the warning.) An updated release from the agency further predicts a potential half-inch to one inch of snow in some areas.


New Yorkers are encouraged to traverse safely, and slowly, as travel could be “dangerous” and “life-threatening.” The National Weather Services also encourages the use of car headlights when on the road during a squall.

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