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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Defining a "Whiteout"

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

Recently, we had a discussion over here at SERVPRO regarding what exactly constituted “whiteout conditions.” Every time there’s a severe winter storm, the news warns drivers of whiteouts, and for good reasons. But is there a difference between poor visibility and a full on whiteout?

The short answer is that there isn’t an exact scientific definition that we could find. The best, most descriptive definition that we found comes from the 1958 book “The Crossing of Antarctica,” which attempted to define whiteout as the following in its glossary:

"A condition of diffuse light when no shadows are cast, due to a continuous white cloud layer appearing to merge with the white snow surface. No surface irregularities of the snow are visible, but a dark object may be clearly seen. There is no visible horizon."

Seems about right to us!

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