Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Bomb Cyclone Hits Colorado

Bomb Cyclone Hits Colorado

The National Weather Service said the system would move into southern Minnesota and parts of IL, including Chicago, with rain later turning to snow.

The storm left quickly rising floods in its wake in parts of eastern Nebraska and Iowa that saw residents evacuated from their homes, roads washed out in communities, and farmers anxious all the water would drown livestock.

In Wolf Creek Pass, near the New Mexico border, has recorded 45 inches of snow.

In Sioux Falls, S.D., the eponymous falls were raging Wednesday and Thursday, and floodwaters forced dozens of road closures.

"Interstate 90 in western South Dakota is closed for more than 200 miles", South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Gary Ellenbolt reports for NPR from the city of Aberdeen.

As the storm barreled eastward from the Rockies, where it had triggered widespread power outages, it dumped record-setting rainfall across parts of the Midwest, including eastern South Dakota and northwestern Iowa.

Wednesday's explosive development of a late winter storm over eastern Colorado created rough times for people both on land and in the air. As of March 12, the storm has recorded a 78-mph wind gust in Dallas and an unofficial record for lowest pressure at 975 millibars in Pueblo, Colorado. The storm - previously dubbed a "bomb cyclone" for its quick, late season punch - was still expected to prompt warnings of blizzards and snow before noon in north central Kansas and Nebraska, Hurley said.

The system was moving out of the central Plains on Thursday, but weather service meteorologist Peter Rogers said flooding is likely to persist into the weekend in parts of South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, with deeply frozen ground preventing rain and snowmelt from soaking into the soil.

The storm also contributed to the death of Daniel Groves, a Colorado State Patrol officer who was hit and killed by a vehicle as he helped another driver who had slid off Interstate 76 near Denver.

"While the storm has reached its lowest pressure and will gradually weaken over the next few days, strong winds will continue on the west side of the storm across portions of the Central and Northern Plains", Bob Oravec, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS), said on Thursday in a weather advisory.

Blizzard conditions and flooding closed numerous roadways in the region.

National Guard troops used specialized vehicles with tank-like treads to rescue stranded drivers. Most of these outages are in Colorado and Texas.

Five people were hurt and 150 dairy cows had to be euthanized when a tornado hit the small town of Dexter, New Mexico, on Tuesday. "This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters", stated the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

Meteorologists call storms like this one a "bomb cyclone", a winter hurricane that forms when the barometric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.

Several barns were destroyed and mobile homes were damaged in Daviess County, Kentucky, but no injuries were reported, emergency management officials said. "There's only been three or four tornadoes reported here". He police said people should be careful during the exit.

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