Just three weeks after a "bomb cyclone," one of the most intense storms on record, pounded the Plains and Midwest, another "bomb cyclone" of similar strength is in the forecast. The spring storm seems poised to dump even heavier snow and could be followed by another round of significant river flooding.
For the past few days, various forecast computer models have shown a blizzard of epic proportions for the north-central Plain States and Upper Midwest. Every time a model is updated, the storm depicted seems to get even more intense.
At this point, it seems likely that some of the same areas impacted by devastating flooding just weeks ago are about to get slammed by an historic blizzard Wednesday through Friday.
As of Sunday night, the storm system was located in the eastern Pacific Ocean and was moving onshore along the U.S. West Coast.
Massive Pacific storm system will move onshore and become a huge blizzard for the Midwest by midweek!! pic.twitter.com/M5A9goXuBR
— Meteorologists United on Climate Change (@MetsUnite) April 8, 2019
Early this week, the system will move across the Rockies and bring heavy snow to the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado. The storm will intensify as it enters the central Great Plains on Wednesday.
The barometric pressure — a measure of intensity in which lower means stronger — may drop to levels nearly as low as during the record-setting bomb cyclone in mid-March. In fact, this storm could tie or set April low pressure records.
The WPC forecast for Thursday morning implies that April low pressure records are possible in the central Plains & Midwest. pic.twitter.com/kb2eyOrzT5
— David Roth (@DRmetwatch) April 7, 2019
As the storm strengthens, it will drag thick Gulf of Mexico moisture northward on a collision course with below freezing temperatures north of the system. It's forecast to slow down at that point and perhaps even stall for 24 hours.
That would mean a prolonged period of blinding heavy snow, wind gusts to 70 mph and near zero visibility in Nebraska, South Dakota, northern Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin from Wednesday through Friday.
The latest computer models put the bulls-eye for the heaviest snow band from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, through Minneapolis east to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Snow totals could be staggering, with some models showing more than 30 inches in some areas.