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

"Bomb cyclone" headed our way, and here's what it means

Between Wednesday and Thursday, a late winter storm of hurricane-force winds, heavy snow and rain battered its way across the middle of the nation.

The quickly rising floods evacuated people from their homes, washed out roads in communities, and left farmers anxious all the water would drown livestock.

Many central Iowa rivers may see moderate flooding into next week from the rain and snowmelt runoff, the weather service said. Blizzard warnings are raised in Denver, Wyoming, Nebraska, large portions of Dakota, and some areas in western Minnesota.

The storm's center was over Iowa and Nebraska on Thursday and will continue delivering risky weather conditions to 105 million people who are under some sort of watch, warning or advisory as it moves east and then north into Canada.

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

All the scientists agreed that aberrant climate conditions, such as the hurricanes that have ravaged U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico states in recent years, were the results of climate change.

Pete Ricketts said the state has experienced historic flooding in almost every region.

Numerous creeks and streams were out of their banks and caused widespread flooding, the National Weather Service office in Des Moines said.

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Firefighters braved blizzard conditions on emergency call-outs in Parker, Colorado, after a "bomb cyclone" swept through the State on March 13.

This type of winter storm, dubbed a "bomb cyclone" or "bombogenesis" by meteorologists, occurs when weather conditions are expected to rapidly intensify, dropping 24 millibars (a measurement of atmospheric pressure) within 24 hours, when the typical range is between 10 and 15.

Highways were also closed in the Nebraska Panhandle, South Dakota and near the Wyoming border on Thursday due to the storm.

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. Extreme gusts of winds topping 100 miles per hour have slammed through areas of Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. And in New Mexico, 36 miners at a nuclear waste repository were trapped underground in an elevator for about three hours because of a power outage caused by the extreme weather. Air rushed into the low-pressure area and then rose into the atmosphere, causing severe weather.

The Colorado State Patrol said one of its troopers, 52-year-old Corporal Daniel Groves, was killed northeast of Denver when a vehicle veered out of control and struck him as he was helping the victims of another auto accident. There are no immediate reports of any injuries, but homes and trees were damaged and power was knocked out to thousands.

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In parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, tornado watches were issued until Thursday afternoon.

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