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'Bomb Cyclone' Winter Storm Moving Across Central U.S.

14 March 2019

Some 70 million residents of the central United States may soon come face-to-face with a "bomb cyclone". The rare weather system-the Conversation has a helpful explainer-arrives Wednesday and could bring with it blizzards, tornadoes, and floods.

Tens of millions will be affected by these conditions. "Heavy rains. isolated flooding and severe weather will accompany these thunderstorms as they march fairly quickly eastward", the weather service said.

A bomb cyclone occurs when there is a rapid pressure drop, falling at least 24 millibars (which measures atmospheric pressure) over 24 hours known as bombogenesis.

"The heavy snow and visibility near zero will create extremely unsafe travel conditions, and power outages are also possible", according to the National Weather Service.

An earlier round of heavy, wet snow caused several roofs to collapse, including those of a church and a hotel, in the Upper Midwest last weekend. The weather service office in Midland/Odessa, Texas, said Wednesday could be 'the windiest day in years, USA Today reported.

The powerful system is already bringing high winds, rain and snow to an enormous chunk of the country, including the Rocky Mountains, the Plains, the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes region.

A large swath of the US was under a variety of warnings, advisories, and warnings.

What Is a Bomb Cyclone: All About the Winter Weather Storm Hitting This Week
Blizzard, fierce winds expected to clobber US Plains states

The strongest winds - with gusts hitting 100 miles per hour - could hit Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, according to USA Today.

"Southwest has proactively canceled almost all operations" out of DIA, the airline said Tuesday in a statement.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned of a major winter storm ranging from the Central Rockies through the Plains. Snow will blanket the areas where blizzard conditions are likely, such as parts of Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. A blizzard warning is in effect for Denver.

The NWS warned residents about safety, saying, "the heavy snow and visibility near zero will create extremely risky travel conditions, and power outages are also possible".

Tracking website FlightAware said that hundreds of flights have been canceled.

Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota have all issued blizzard warnings for the storm, CNN reports.

"Flash flooding is possible if ice jams clog rivers and streams, the weather service noted", according to CNN.

'Bomb Cyclone' Winter Storm Moving Across Central U.S.