In many places Spring has actually sprung, birds are singing and flowers are blooming. But the Midwest has a storm on the way that will make it painfully clear that Winter is not quite over.
The potential is there for another “bomb cyclone” to impact the Plains this week. That’s an area of low pressure that drops 24 millibars in 24 hours. That translates into a potent, rapidly intensifying storm system.
This would be the second time in less than a month a storm of this magnitude has developed in the Plains. It’s rare enough to have one form inland, much less, two.
Typically we see “bomb cyclones” form off the US East Coast in the form of nor’easters.
This powerful storm is forecast to develop Tuesday in the Rockies, where it will rapidly intensify and bring blizzard-like conditions to the Plains on Wednesday. Winter storm watches are already posted for parts of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota.
Arctic air will move south, bringing frigid temperatures and possible blizzard conditions for portions of the Rockies, Plains and even Great Lakes. Up to 18 inches of snow will be possible with wind gusts of 45-50 mph in the Dakotas, along with white-out conditions.
Overnight temperatures in the Plains will drop 40 degrees in just 12 hours. Ten inches of snow is possible for places like Minneapolis.
Air travel will be hit hard, and road travel will be treacherous.
There has already been significant flooding along the Red River because of melting snow. And now with additional rain and snowmelt, more flooding will be expected.
In South Dakota and Western Minnesota, the James and Elm rivers will continue to experience moderate to major flooding. The additional rain and snow will cause these rivers to rise even higher.
Even if this storm doesn’t become a bomb cyclone, it’s still going to be extremely powerful.