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'Blockbuster Blizzard' Set to Wallop Central US

It could be the second 'bomb cyclone' in 2 months
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2019 2:28 AM CDT
Updated Apr 10, 2019 6:49 AM CDT
Cones block travel on Happy Jack Road during a blizzard on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Cheyenne, Wyo.   (Jacob Byk/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle via AP)
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(Newser) – The first day of spring was weeks ago—but there's still a serious bout of winter weather on its way for the central US. The Rockies and Plains could be hit by the second "bomb cyclone" in two months Wednesday as an April blizzard causes a drastic drop in pressure in cities like Denver, which experienced temperatures of around 80 degrees Tuesday, NPR reports. The National Weather Service says blizzard conditions are expected in the central and northern plains, in states including Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. South of the heavy snow, severe thunderstorms and heavy rain are expected from the central plains to the middle Mississippi Valley, exacerbating flooding in some areas.

The National Weather Service office in Colorado says precipitation will start as rain Wednesday but snow is expected as the colder air moves in. In Minneapolis, forecasters say the "potentially historic winter storm" could drop up to a foot of snow. The system will be considered a "bomb cyclone" if the air pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours, reports CNN, which notes that it is rare for a single storm this size to develop inland, let alone two in less than 30 days. But even if it doesn't end up fitting the cyclone definition, "we're talking a blockbuster blizzard," meteorologist Jeff Berardelli tells CBS. He predicts that the storm will move slowly across the region for two days after hitting the central Plains on Wednesday. (March's bomb cyclone system wreaked havoc in more than 25 states.)

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