‘Epic’ storm brings blizzards, floods, twister to mid

Blanche Robertson
March 16, 2019

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.

Many state agencies are making that plea again Thursday, with blizzard conditions predicted over parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Minnesota. Thunderstorms and flash flood warnings are also up in MI and Kansas.

"Modeling studies consistently suggest that the frequency and intensity of severe storms in the United States could increase as climate changes, particularly over the U.S. Midwest and Southern Great Plains during spring", she said. On Thursday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an emergency disaster proclamation and activated the state emergency operations center, and all or part of nine state parks were closed due to rising floodwaters. The closure was reminiscent of historic flooding along the river in 2011 that saw segments of the interstate in western Iowa washed away.

Parts of seven states were under blizzard warnings, and 20 states were under some level of high wind alert, Carbin said.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts issued an emergency declaration for the state, citing forecasts of up to 2 feet (0.61 m) of snow and high winds that are expected to make travel "difficult to impossible" on roads.

Many streams will see moderate to major flooding through the weekend, the service said, and flooding along the Missouri River will continue into next week.

Wednesday's blizzard in Colorado caused widespread power outages, forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and wreaked havoc on roadways as drivers became overwhelmed by blinding snow.

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A bomb cyclone occurs when there is a rapid pressure drop, with a decrease of at least 24 millibars - a measure of atmospheric pressure - over 24 hours.

On Wednesday up to 1.2 meters of snow and 170-km-per-hour winds blasted Colorado, leaving thousands of motorists stranded and tens of thousands of people without power in Colorado and Texas.

A storm like this brings with it all sorts of hazardous weather. And in New Mexico, 36 miners at a nuclear waste repository were trapped underground in an elevator for about three hours because of a power outage caused by the extreme weather.

Daniel Groves, 52, was killed after a wayward 2001 Volvo had struck him while he was on the scene of another vehicle that slid off Interstate 76 in Weld County.

The Colorado National Guard announced it had rescued 93 people and two dogs after inspecting about 250 vehicles.

A tornado in New Mexico ripped roofs from buildings in the small town of Dexter, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of Albuquerque. A tornado also touched down Thursday in western Kentucky, damaging utility lines and trees.

This weather phenomenon is being labeled a "bomb cyclone" by meteorologists and this happens when the atmosphere is experiencing bombogenesis. Thankfully no injuries were reported.

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