NASA / NOAA GOES Project
An intense winter storm – a "cyclone bomb" of snow and wind – blocked drivers and closed highways in the Rocky Mountain and Plains regions of the United States. The Colorado National Guard announced Thursday that it had rescued 75 people and two dogs after checking 148 vehicles stuck in the storm.
The winter storm was linked to at least one death. The Colorado State Patrol declared the cape. Daniel Groves, 52, died on Interstate 76 after being struck by a Volvo whose driver had lost control. Groves was out of his patrol car to check if another vehicle had slipped off the road, the police said.
A few hours earlier, the Colorado State Patrol had reiterated its calls for a ban on getting on the roads and staying home, as far as possible, to prevent the risk of an accident.
Many state agencies reiterated this call on Thursday as snowstorm storms are expected in parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. The National Weather Service said the weather may have peaked, but not dropped.
"Trips will remain difficult and life threatening in these areas, and conditions will improve from Thursday to Friday as the storm moves away from the northeast," the NWS said.
"All state offices will be closed today" Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem announced, citing warnings from forecasters regarding high winds.
In Sioux Falls, S.D., eponymous waterfalls raged on Wednesday and Thursday, and floodwaters sealed dozens of roads. The city posted a video floods, urging people to stay away from high water.
Here is an overview of the floods around Sioux Falls. Hundreds of our employees make every effort to protect and help Sioux Falls. Stay away from flooded areas, use patience and caution when traveling today. #onesiouxfalls pic.twitter.com/3fHf0YVBvX
– City of Sioux Falls (@CitySiouxFalls) March 14, 2019
By noon, Sioux Falls precipitation was expected to turn into snow, which has already created perilous conditions in the west of the state.
"Interstate 90, in western South Dakota, is closed for more than 200 km," said Gary Ellenbolt of the South Dakota public broadcaster for NPR in Aberdeen.
Ellenbolt also quoted Tony Mangan from the state's Department of Public Security, who said: "I mean, if you do not have snow in some parts of the state, you have Flooding in the southeastern and south-central parts.It's better, very honestly, staying home. "
Nebraska, in a state of emergency since Tuesday night, is trying to cope with historic floods. According to the state, shelters are currently providing assistance to more than 100 people who have been forced to evacuate their homes. Shelters are open in parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.
Just one of the many paths on. These will not appear on the map 511 because they are country roads. Damage to roads and bridges as well as blizzard conditions can have fatal consequences. Please stay at home (the road is located in Rock County north of Bassett, Carnes Bridge) pic.twitter.com/2r03FymKJh
– NSP_TrooperGena (@NSP_TrooperGena) March 14, 2019
The meteorological term "cyclone bomb" refers to a storm that intensifies very rapidly, a process called bombogenesis – in which the barometric pressure drops by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. That's what happened in parts of the central United States, where just a day before the blizzard, many areas like Denver enjoyed sunny weather in the 50s and 60s.
"A bomb attack on the coast is about the same time last year killed several people, disrupted the train and plane service and disabled about 2 million people," reported Wednesday Rebecca Hersher from NPR.
The current hurricane also hit parts of Texas, including Amarillo, where strong winds pushed a semi-diver on a road on Wednesday. The winds also forced the evacuation of the local airport control tower and cut off Texas Panhandle electricity and eastern New Mexico.
The areas east and south of the cyclone are also facing harsh weather on Thursday, while the official start of spring is expected in less than a week.
"Heavy rains, melting snow and ice jams have caused widespread flooding in the Upper Midwest," federal forecasters said. As the storm moves east, it will weaken, but the risk of high winds, hail and tornadoes will still be present in a vast region from the Great Lakes to the South, says the NWS.
Parts of Kentucky and Indiana have been under tornado warnings Thursday – and one of them landed in Union County, Kentucky, where a motorist recorded the tornado video on his cell phone.
Anyone looking for good weather news may want to turn to California, which has finally got good news after tragic weather and climate events, from fires to floods. As Reports from KPBS member station"California is not affected by drought and only a small part of the territory remains in a lesser state of abnormal drought after a very wet winter."