Massive 'Bomb Cyclone' Bears Down on Continental US — Hurricane Blizzard
15 March, 2019, 03:00 | Author: Ted Wilson
Winter Storm Ulmer is still hammering the Plains with snow, high winds and blizzard conditions on Thursday after killing at least two as the storm became a bomb cyclone.
The system was undergoing cyclogenesis on Wednesday over southern Colorado satellite images from the NWS showed.
One of the stranded drivers was Bria McKenzie, 22, who with her mother, brother and sister, was stuck in her auto for more than two hours on a hilly road in Colorado Springs.
Heavy snow was falling in northern Arizona and forecasters say risky winds in New Mexico are expected to make travel hazardous across much of the state.
In addition to road closures in Colorado and Wyoming, the Nebraska State Patrol closed Interstate 80 from the Wyoming border east to North Platte, as well as all state highways in the Nebraska Panhandle. Heavy rain caused flooding in the eastern parts of both states and in Iowa. A record-setting 129km/h gust was reported at Denver International Airport, which was shut down for the vast majority of air traffic.
The winds toppled high profile vehicles in Texas and, in Logan, N.M., blew 26 rail cars off a bridge.
Winds hit 103 mph in Pine Springs, Tex., and 104 mph in San Augustine Pass, N.M., while a number of locations across Colorado hit 90 mph.
Blizzard, fierce winds expected to clobber US Plains states
"70 million people will potentially be affected by this storm system across the Plains states, bringing blizzard conditions, potential tornadoes and flash flooding", Dean said Wednesday on "FOX & friends". No injuries were reported from the incident. Wind gusts of 50mph to 70mph are expected across Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, while some areas could see hurricane-force gusts of 100mph.
The NWS in Boulder, Colorado, said that travel is "not recommended" and would be nearly impossible at times due to high winds and whiteout conditions.
Meanwhile, Rapid City Regional Airport said at midday Wednesday that it is closed until further notice because of the approaching storm. It will move through the Upper Mississippi Valley and Upper Great Lakes region on Thursday, NWS said.
Blizzard warnings are in effect from northeast Colorado to northwest Minnesota, The Weather Channel reported.
Government workers in Denver, Wyoming and South Dakota were told to stay home and many colleges also closed their campuses. Wind gusts in the area exceeded 80 miles per hour (128.74 kph).
Gordon said his briefings indicated that strong winds are predicted through Thursday afternoon, likely resulting in continued poor visibility, closed roads and snow plowing difficulties. Ice jams are a major concern along rivers in this region.
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