Beware the Bomb Cyclone
I hope everyone is safe and warm.
Be careful, take good care, stay home
I heard 200,000 without power, and it's just begun to move east
A ferocious winter storm -- a "bomb cyclone" -- unleashed a 97-mph wind gust equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane in Colorado Springs on Wednesday as it roared across the state on the way to the Great Plains and parts of the Midwest, bringing blizzard conditions and a flood threat to a swath of the US.
A bomb cyclone happens when there's a rapid pressure drop, with a decrease of at least 24 millibars (which measures atmospheric pressure) over 24 hours known as bombogenesis. This storm has dropped 33 millibars since Tuesday morning and continues to strengthen.
Denver International Airport saw a gust of 75 mph, which is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.
Further pressure drops later Wednesday should be equivalent to what one would typically find in Category 2 hurricane.
In Colorado, more than 133,000 people were affected by power outages, officials said.
In Texas, more than 69,000 people had no power, according to Jen Myers, spokeswoman for provider Oncor. Myers said the sudden wind gusts hit the state with unusual force.
"We're pretty used to seeing Texas storms knock out power, but they tend to be localized," she said. "This was a very widespread event. Everybody's out working to restore power, and all of our crews are out in full force to make sure we can get the power on as soon as possible."
The massive storm was walloping the Rockies. By early afternoon, more than 9 inches of snow had been reported west of Boulder, and winds gusting above 50 mph were whipping through central portions of the state. Gusts of 75 and 80 mph were reported at Denver International Airport, the National Weather Service said.
"And yes, that is the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane! This is a serious blizzard! DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO DRIVE IN THIS STORM!" the weather service's office in Boulder said on Twitter.
Hundreds of flights bound for, or departing from, the Denver airport were canceled. Thousands of power outages were reported in the Denver area alone.
The storm is on its way to the central and northern Plains and the Upper Midwest with blizzard conditions. Hazards include heavy snow and severe storms with possible tornadoes and flooding into Thursday.