“Bomb Cyclone”

Libby Evans, Reporter

A strong winter storm struck Colorado and other parts of the central United States on Wednesday, sending hurricane-force winds and heavy snow across the region, meteorologists said. The fierce winter weather, part of which classified as a “bomb cyclone,” pummeled Denver and other areas in Colorado, and rapidly intensified throughout the day as it pushed east and north, the National Weather Service said. Heavy rains turned to snow, blizzard conditions and high winds and affected parts of the country from the Central Rockies across the Plains, and from the Mississippi Valley into the upper Great Lakes, including Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota. Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency, making more resources available to react to the storm. Winds reached a high of 94 miles per hour, and some areas saw up to four feet of snow. Visibility reached near zero, and travel plans were disrupted throughout the state. Schools were closed on Wednesday in Denver, Littleton and several other cities.At least one person has been killed as a result of the storm. Cpl. Daniel Groves of the Colorado State Patrol, 52, was hit by a car on I-76, about 50 miles from Denver. While helping a driver whose car slid off the roadway, the corporal was hit by another man who had lost control of his car, the State Patrol said. He was taken to Platte Valley Medical Center and died shortly afterward. Late Wednesday afternoon, Jim Kalina, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said that the storm had “already slowed down” in Denver. “Further east,” he added, “we still have a band of snow and winds at 70 m.p.h.” Dodge City, Kan., broke a record for low atmosphere pressure that had stood for more than a century, according to Vanessa Pearce, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service in Kansas. The storm was expected to make its way through Kansas, Nebraska and move northeastward toward Iowa, the Weather Service said. The storm qualified as a “bomb cyclone,” also known as a winter hurricane, according to the National Weather Service. The Denver airport said it was bracing for several inches of snow and strong winds. Airlines including Southwest, Frontier and United have canceled flights, and more cancellations and delays were possible, the airport said in a statement on Twitter. By Wednesday afternoon local time, more than 1,300 flights had been canceled, according to FlightAware. I hope everyone stayed safe and had fun in the snow.