70 million in path of 'bomb cyclone' across central US

A historic blizzard is unfolding in the central U.S. on Wednesday with hurricane-force winds buffeting parts of several states

According to weather.com, the storm continued to hammer parts of Nebraska and the Dakotas Thursday with heavy snow and blasting winds with gusts that limited visibility across the region. It added that "high speed in poor driving conditions" was being investigated in connection with the crash that caused his death. "The snow will start mid-morning, but the worst of it will be from mid-afternoon (Wednesday) and overnight into Thursday".

Scores of motorists took refuge at truck stops in eastern Wyoming while blowing snow forced portions of major highways to close in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota.

From the Palmer divide to the Plains Wednesday, an exceptionally-powerful "bomb cyclone" brought 100 miles per hour wind gusts and conditions rivaling those of a hurricane, except with blinding snow in many places. Also contributing were Associated Press reporters Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee; James Anderson and Thomas Peipert in Denver; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; Margery Beck and Josh Funk in Omaha, Neb.; Seth Borenstein in Washington; Paul Davenport in Phoenix; and Matt Volz in Helena, Mont.

All school districts in the seven-county Denver metropolitan were closed, along with most city and state government offices and many businesses.

The warning, which lasts until 6 a.m. Thursday, calls for snow totals of 8 to 14 inches, with the heaviest snow likely above 9,000 feet. Southwest, Frontier and United have all canceled flights, Denver Airport wrote on Twitter.

A massive late winter storm is bringing blizzard conditions to a number of central US states Thursday. No injuries were reported. Severe blizzard conditions are expected and several weather warnings are in effect in these areas.

While the bomb cyclone has brought blizzard conditions to Colorado, it has caused flooding in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri - mostly along the Mississippi River.




In Nebraska, officials late Wednesday morning closed a roughly 130-mile strech of westbound Interstate 80, from Ogallala to the state line with Wyoming, because of the blizzard. Roads around the airport were also closed or blocked by traffic accidents for much of the day.

"All state offices will be closed today", South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced, citing forecasters' warnings of intense winds.

The current pressure in the storm is equivalent to what you would typically find in a Category 1 hurricane, said CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller.

There is a considerable risk of flooding as precipitation continues and snow melts in the Midwest and Great Plains regions.

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

This is a big part of why wind alerts extend from Nevada to MS and why blizzard warnings are in place for parts of the Rockies.

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