Colorado Trooper Killed as ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Unleashes Snow, High Winds

National Weather Service

Blizzard conditions are expected in much of Colorado and parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota on Wednesday, the National Weather Service predicted.

Combined with the storms from the past few weeks, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has an avalanche warning (level 4 of 5) for Wednesday, and travel in the backcountry is not recommended. It added that "high speed in poor driving conditions" was being investigated in connection with the crash that caused his death.

"Do not drive cars through areas where water covers the road". By early afternoon, more than 9 inches of snow had been reported west of Boulder, Colorado, and winds gusting above 50 miles per hour were whipping through central portions of the state.

Warnings extended to North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, where the storm was expected to hit Thursday. El Paso County Commissioners Chairman Mark Waller signed an emergency declaration allowing the county to seek assistance from state and local governments to help rescue stranded motorists. Heavy rain caused flooding in the eastern parts of both states and in Iowa. The powerful winds have left over 200,000 Denver area residents without power while Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has activated the Colorado National Guard for search and rescue operations for stranded drivers in the blizzard.

The bomb cyclone will mostly affect the Rockies, the Central and Northern Plains and the Upper Midwest. We saw the west to east differences that we were forecasting.

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'We expect a major blizzard to unfold with winds likely to approach hurricane force, heavy snow and massive drifts, ' according to AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"More than 1300 flights were cancelled at Denver Airport, which is technically open but all the runways are shut down". The highest wind gust was at Colorado Springs airport of a whopping 97 miles per hour. Thankfully no injuries were reported. Several additional states are under a high wind warning, flood warning and winter storm warning, NWS reported.

"Travel will remain hard and life threatening across these areas, with improving conditions Thursday night into Friday as the storm pushes farther off to the northeast", the NWS says. Severe storms capable of producing damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes are forecast from the southern Plains and into the Mississippi River Valley. Coincidentally, this is the 26th anniversary of the 1993 Superstorm, also known as "The Storm of the Century", which also brought a wide array of severe weather over a large area. There is a high probability of ice, strong winds and heavy snow accumulation.

Denver Public Schools closed Wednesday because of "severe winter weather and road conditions", and more than two dozen schools districts in South Dakota are closed due to weather.

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