Weather Events Associated With These Storms
If the temperature near to the ground level is below freezing, and the overlying cloud base generates rain, an ice storm can be formed as the rain is turned to ice as it moves through colder air near to the surface. Ice storms can be significant weather events, bringing down power lines and trees because of the weight of ice that is deposited on these structures and wind associated with the storm.
The winds that can be associated with a winter storm may cause blizzards if the storm generates snow fall. The wind can drive the snow into 'whiteouts', dropping visibility to next to zero, and causing the drifting of lying snow to occur. This can cause significant deposits of snow to accumulate in some regions, while other areas may be almost blown free of snow. Driving is extremely dangerous because of the impaired visibility and the loss of grip on the road due to ice/slush/snow mixtures.
A winter storm can be accompanied or followed by extremely cold weather, which can be dangerous due to the cold and the fact that wind chill can worsen the effects of the cold, increasing the risk of hypothermia to people caught outside during the storm.
In some instances, a winter storm may also be associated with a thunder storm, depending on just how the storm forms, but this is not a common feature.