‘Bomb cyclone’ hammers Plains and Midwest with blizzard conditions and 18 inches of snow, cancelling hundreds of flights and cutting power for 25,000…(Whiteout Here Yesterday!)

Thursday, April 11, 2019
By Paul Martin

11 April 2019

A storm system known as a ‘bomb cyclone’ is slowly churning through the US interior for the second time in a month, unleashing a blizzard in parts of the Midwest while creating hazardous fire conditions farther south.

By Thursday, as much as 18 inches of snow had fallen in parts of South Dakota, where Governor Kristi Noem closed state offices for a second day, while heavy snow and strong winds made travel conditions treacherous.

Just days after Tuesday’s high of 78 degrees in Denver, whiteout conditions were reported in western Nebraska, where the Department of Transportation closed several highways Thursday morning. Winds briefly reached 107 mph in Pueblo West, Colorado due to a ‘gustnado.’

On Thursday morning, some 13,200 homes were without power in Minnesota and 12,600 homes in South Dakota. More than 180 flights were cancelled at Denver International and 170 flights at Minneapolis-St Paul International.

The Minnesota State Patrol said it has responded to more than 200 crashes statewide since Wednesday.

Residents throughout the north-central United States could expect downed trees, widespread power outages, road closures and treacherous driving conditions through Friday, the NWS said.

Schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul were among hundreds that closed in Minnesota, where as much as two feet of snow is expected by Friday.

The storm knocked out power Wednesday to thousands of homes and businesses in South Dakota, disrupted air and ground travel from Colorado to Minnesota, and threatened to swell rivers in the Midwest that flooded after March’s drenching.

Both this storm and the one several weeks ago qualified as a ‘bomb cyclone,’ a weather phenomenon that entails a rapid drop in air pressure and a storm strengthening explosively, according to David Roth, a forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.

Bomb cyclones are defined as a drop in atmospheric pressure of 24 millibars in 24 hours.

The latest storm’s impacts are likely to be similar to last month’s, Roth said. That blast dropped heavy snow and led to massive flooding in the Midwest that caused billions of dollars in damage in Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and South Dakota.

‘Hopefully this time it will be a slow snowmelt,’ Roth said.

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