It’s been so crazy busy in the Weather Lab I actually had to count the number of storms. And the next one is already here.
— Tom Niziol (@TomNiziol) March 13, 2019
This week’s “bomb cyclone” moving into the Upper Midwest is just the latest in a series of 10 storms that have pounded the Midwest over the past six weeks. That’s averages out to a storm about every four days. You can see the separate storms on the accumulated precipitation graph from the Minneapolis−St. Paul International Airport.
Intense bomb cyclone
Our latest storm rolling out of the Rockies meets the criteria for what meteorologists call “bomb cyclogenesis or bombogenesis.”
Bombogenesis occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, with central pressure dropping at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. This storm is setting pressure records as it swirls out of the Rockies.
Latest observations of the #BombCyclone have the minimum pressure down to around 971.0-hPa near the Colorado/Kansas border in Lamar, CO (KLAA). If confirmed, this would be the lowest pressure ever recorded in Colorado for a synoptic cyclone. #cowx pic.twitter.com/EBCzlbKeJV
— Philippe Papin (@pppapin) March 13, 2019
On the colder side of this storm, an intense blizzard is in progress. Here’s Interstate 80 in Nebraska.
INTENSE, dangerous #blizzard conditions with #BombCyclone! Here is I80 at Kimball NE. Everything is closed of course. Pure whiteout. Winds gusting over 70 mph @breakingweather @accuweather pic.twitter.com/tN5NgcYf43
— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) March 13, 2019
A 280-mile stretch of I-80 is closed in South Dakota.
— Megan Murat (@MeganMuratTV) March 13, 2019
— ASciFiWriter (@ascifiwriter) March 13, 2019
In Colorado, the storm closed Denver International Airport.
Current conditions at DEN 👇🥶 pic.twitter.com/YFR4q87tky
— Denver Int'l Airport (@DENAirport) March 13, 2019
Severe wind gusts are blowing semitrailers over in the Plains.
Incredible footage from Storm Search 7 chaser @BlakeBrownWx of what these dangerously strong winds can do. An 18-wheeler overturned east of Amarillo, along I-40.#txwx #phwx @spann @Ginger_Zee pic.twitter.com/vmzw6BzkKR
— Delaney Wearden (@DelaneyWearden7) March 13, 2019
Here’s an update on expected blizzard conditions from the Grand Forks National Weather Service office.
Widespread flood threat
Flood watches continue for a huge chunk of the Upper Midwest.
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
333 PM CDT Wed Mar 13 2019
…RAIN AND SNOW MELT COULD LEAD TO STREET FLOODING AND PONDING
OF WATER IN LOW LYING AREAS THROUGH THURSDAY…
.Temperatures will remain mild through Thursday afternoon.
Periods of rain through this evening and again on Thursday will
combine with snow melt to produce street flooding and standing
water over low lying areas in the watch area. The heaviest
rainfall will occur in southwest and west central Minnesota
through this evening, with amounts of one half to locally one
inch before Thursday morning. Significant rises on the main stem
rivers are not expected this week.
Many of the the drainage systems are full of ice and snow, so any
melting or runoff from the rain could lead to ponding of water in
low lying areas. Temperatures will fall below freezing Friday, so
any standing water will become ice.
Flooding is already occurring near Sioux Falls, S.D.
— Joe Zweifel (@jzweifel62) March 13, 2019
Warmer next week
Temperatures look even higher next week. Highs in the 50s will feel great, and also jumpstart river flooding.