Powerful storm winding down, but still creating travel woes

Powerful storm winding down, but still creating travel woes”

Numerous schools around the state closed, along with several Black Hills National Forest offices in western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. Sergeant Jesse Grabow tweeted that he couldn't remember a day with as many tractor trailer incidents.

"A powerful winter storm will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions to north central and northeast Colorado today through Thursday morning", the National Weather Service said in a forecast issued on this morning.

The weather phenomenon with a complex scientific definition essentially entails a rapid drop in air pressure and a storm strengthening explosively.

More than 500 flights were canceled at Denver International Airport on Wednesday, about a quarter of its total schedule, according to, an airline tracking website.

More than 4 million people are under blizzard warnings from Wednesday into Thursday, including parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. Two weeks after the flooding, 10 states - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin - had groundwater threatened by bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters. The Minnesota State Patrol responded to 213 crashes by Wednesday evening.

Last month, a deadly bomb cyclone hit Colorado and Nebraska, killing several people.

Click through the slideshow above to see Wesley's impacts. Parts of Nebraska were buried in more than a foot of snow (30.5 centimeters) and even deeper drifts, thanks to winds gusting to more than 60 miles per hour (96.6 kph).

The Plains could get more than 2 feet of snow by Friday morning, and South Dakota is bracing for a possible 30 inches.

"We are waiting to see what happens when the snow melts", she said, noting that warm temperatures since then have thawed the ground and could result in less flooding. Mike Connelly, a weather service meteorologist in Aberdeen, South Dakota, said this week's storm system drew up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico as it moved out of the Rocky Mountains. In addition, precipitation this time is expected to be in the form of snow rather than rain, slowing the runoff process.

An unusual but not rare weather phenomenon known as "thunder snow" - snow accompanied by thunder and lightning - was reported in central South Dakota.

More than 30,000 homes and businesses were without power in Minnesota, 14,200 in Iowa and 22,700 in MI by midday on Thursday, according to, a website that tracks power outages.

During a February blizzard, the National Guard rescued and housed drivers stranded in the southern Minnesota county. The weather service issued a high wind warning for the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Forecasters in New Mexico said the winds also would make travel hard on north-south oriented roads such as Interstate 25. "Once the storm is done and things start to dry out a bit, we will get back to patching".

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