The buran takes two forms: in summer, it is a hot, dry wind, whipping up sandstorms; in winter, it is bitterly cold and often accompanied by blizzards. Winter buran winds are strong and full of ice and snow. The sky is often laden with snow, which swirls about and reduces the visibility to near zero at times. In Alaska this severe northeasterly wind is known as burga and brings snow and ice pellets.
The Russian Space Programme has named a class of spacecraft after the buran (see Buran programme).