'Massive and possibly historic' winter storm headed this way

Bomb cyclone leaves one dead in Colorado brings blizzards floods tornado to US

A policeman talks to a driver as snow clogs the roads in Lone Tree Colorado

"I can't say I've seen a storm with such intensity this far west in the Plains", said CBS News climate and weather contributor Jeff Berardelli.

There have also been reports of thundersnow.

The explosive storm system continues impacting travel, power and safety across the region as damaging wind and areas of heavy snowfall continues into Wednesday evening.

A 250-mile (402-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 80 from Cheyenne to Rock Springs in southern Wyoming was closed, along with a 300-mile (483-kilometer) section of Interstate 25 from Buffalo, Wyoming, to the Colorado border.

Cars splash through flood water on Ames Avenue west of 66th Street Wednesday
Cars splash through flood water on Ames Avenue west of 66th Street Wednesday

When the barometric pressure drops a lot over a short period of time, the bad weather is especially severe.

This storm - called a "bomb cycle" - occurs when there is a really quick pressure drop within 24 hours in a process called "bombogenesis", according to CNN.

The National Weather Service Denver/Boulder said, "Blizzard conditions are likely across the northern mountains, northern foothills, Palmer Divide and adjacent plains".

By Thursday, the storm system will weaken as it moves over the Tennessee River Valley, bringing mostly rain from MI southward to the Gulf Coast and some remaining snow only in the far northern parts of the country, he added. "Travel across the region will be hard, if not impossible", because of "white-out conditions and drifting of snow especially across the Plains".

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CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said gusts of wind hitting 50 to 70 miles per hour are forecast to hit Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, according to the station.

In the Denver area, blowing snow could cause unsafe blizzard conditions.

Travel may be impossible, CNN reports, and both flights and schools are being canceled in areas where the white-out blizzard may hit.

"Nobody is here, every other airline has a representative".

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The storm could be historic in terms of the minimum pressure that could be measured in the Colorado region, CBS Denver reported.

The storm brought blizzard conditions to parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.

The Lower Mississippi Valley and southern Plains will experience thunderstorms with heavy rain and flooding.

'While not a tropical system, winds will rival what's seen in a Category 1 hurricane, ' said weathermodels.com meteorologist Ryan Maue.

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