Pat Shingleton: "Purgas, Burans and Whiteouts"
Extreme blizzard conditions where blowing and falling snow reduces visibilities to the point where the sky and the ground appear totally white is a whiteout. New Mexico and portions of Texas experienced these conditions Thursday. One of the fiercest blizzards occurring in the world is the purga or poorga that rolls across northern Siberia. With below zero temperatures, it includes wind-driven snow that causes disorientation. It also prevents humans from opening their eyes, the inability to breath and freezing to death within a few yards of their homes. A buran is a violent snowstorm that occurs in Southern Russia and sections of Siberia. With an injection of warmer air, a buran fills the air with blinding snow much worse than a whiteout.