Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Hurricane Blizzard: Massive 'Bomb Cyclone' Bears Down on Continental US

Hurricane Blizzard: Massive 'Bomb Cyclone' Bears Down on Continental US

Click through the slideshow above to see photos from the bomb cyclone. US and air traffic was returned to normal at Denver International Airport, a regional hub hardest hit by the storm.

At one point, weather watches, warnings and advisories spanned 5 million square miles across the central USA stretching from Canada to the Mexican border.

Wisconsin's governor declared a state of emergency Friday as flooding worsened, and Iowa's governor expanded an emergency proclamation issued a day earlier.

"Travel will remain hard and life threatening across these areas, with improving conditions Thursday night into Friday as the storm pushes farther off to the northeast", the NWS says.

"Whether precipitation falls as rain or as snow is clearly linked to temperature, with rainfall being more likely in a warmer world", she told Xinhua.

Number of people rescued by the National Guard from stuck vehicles in Colorado as of Thursday afternoon.

Such severe conditions have led to the closing of school districts in areas of Colorado, with power being unavailable to over 175,000 people.

The storm turned deadly when a Colorado state trooper responded to a crash and was hit by a sliding vehicle. 73% of flights were cancelled at Denver International Airport, where winds peaked at 80 miles per hour.

The window-rattling storm brought blizzards, floods and a tornado across more than 25 states Wednesday, stretching from the northern Rocky Mountains to Texas and beyond.

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Although the term "bomb cyclone" dates back to the year of 1980, it has only been used recently by meteorologists.

Experts say the storm has developed into a "bomb cyclone", when atmospheric pressure takes a big drop creating hurricane winds, tornados and severe blizzards.

"This storm has dropped 33 millibars since Tuesday morning and continues to strengthen", it said. Blizzard warnings are raised in Denver, Wyoming, Nebraska, large portions of Dakota, and some areas in western Minnesota. Stranded motorists across the region had been reached and helped before midnight, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol spokesman said early Thursday. The National Weather Service is calling the storm "a Great Plains cyclone of historic proportions".

The pressure was down to 968 millibars on Wednesday evening, which is very low, and the lower the pressure, the stronger the winds are in the system.

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.

"Scientists are now investigating how the potential impacts of changes in atmospheric circulation patterns (specifically the weakening jet stream) associated with Arctic warming may influence mid-latitude cold snaps", said Barcikowska.

"We've had a variety of calls".

Besides, in the eyes of Dahl from the UCS, an organization with more than 100,000 members, "there is mounting evidence that climate change is influencing the pattern and position of the jet stream, and those changes could influence the development and path of storms".

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