Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Power Outages, Road Closures As New ''Bomb Cyclone'' Blizzard Hits US

First responders check on drivers following a multi-vehicle crash on westbound Interstate 80 near Waverly Neb. Saturday Feb. 23 2019. Blizzard conditions are expected to affect parts of the state later this week Snow shock: Heavy snow about to descend on parts of Minnesota
Jeannette Daniel | 15 April, 2019, 00:22

The Twin Cities area also is in a winter storm watch and a blizzard warning was issued on a line from Redwood Falls to the St. Cloud area.

"A powerful storm system will continue to bring heavy snow, strong winds, and blizzard conditions from the northern Plains to the upper Midwest into Friday", the National Weather Service said.

Hundreds of schools canceled classes in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota, where the governor closed state offices in much of the state for a second day Thursday because of risky road conditions.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says "the National Guard stands ready" to rescue any stranded motorists.

"It's a mess out here. And that is an understatement", State Patrol Lt. Gordon Shank said late Thursday.

State troopers in Minnesota responded to several jackknifed tractor trailers along Interstate 94 on Thursday, April 11, 2019, during Winter Storm Wesley. Whiteout conditions were reported in western Nebraska and northwest Kansas.

Dubbed "Wesley" by the National Weather Service (NWS), the blizzard affected 4,600 square km and 20 million people in a dozen central US states, hitting the region with winds up to 60 miles per hour, two feet (60 cm) of snow, and dramatic temperature drops. The National Weather Service reported that daily snowfall records had already fallen in La Crosse, Wausau and Green Bay.

And it wasn't the only major weather threat in Wednesday's forecast, with a risk of wildfires in parts of the Southwest, where dry conditions and wind gusts near hurricane strength could push any spark to disaster.

More news: Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are down

Despite the severe weather, crew members at Denver International Airport worked through the night to remove snow from runways, and only about 180 flights were canceled on Thursday morning, down from more than 700 a day earlier, according to FlightAware.come, a flight tracking service, and airport officials. Above, a pair of semi tractor-trailer rigs jackknifed and collided near the Highway 15-68 intersection south of New Ulm.

Denver's award winning CBS Meteorologist Dave Aguilera explained that Wesley was not "technically" a bomb cyclone - defined as when barometric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours - but the storm was bad enough.

Areas in the Midwest and Northern Plains that saw record flooding just weeks ago will likely see more. Minnesota can expect 2 to 4 inches more snow.

More than 10,000 homes and businesses were without power in South Dakota and about another 10,000 in Minnesota early Thursday, according to the tracking site PowerOutage.Us.

Middle America is facing another bomb cyclone this week with strong winds, heavy snow and ice and potential flooding. The Twin Cities are forecast to get 5 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour, along with sleet, rain and freezing rain. Forecasters in New Mexico said the winds also would make travel hard on north-south oriented roads such as Interstate 25.

Thunderstorms were expected to move into much of Georgia and the rest of Alabama on Sunday, with the possibility of isolated and less severe tornadoes, as well as large hail and damaging winds.

Unsafe driving conditions forced interstate closings early Thursday, including Interstate 29 from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to the North Dakota border, Interstate 90 from Sioux Falls nearing Rapid City, South Dakota, Interstate 76 from northeast of Denver to Nebraska, and western Nebraska's Interstate 80.

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