A BOMB cyclone is set to trigger a “once in a generation event” filled with a dangerous snowstorm, strong winds and arctic cold, weather officials say.
Americans are bracing for travel chaos as they desperately try to get home safely to their families while about a third of the country’s population is under a winter weather warning.
The National Weather Service has reported that wind chills from possible snowstorms in the Midwest could be “life-threatening.”
About 100 million Americans have been placed under winter warnings and wind chill warnings that span 37 states, the service said.
Areas in the Midwest and Plains should brace for the coldest Christmas in 40 years after officials predicted the Arctic blast will continue throughout the weekend.
On Wednesday, the storm will strengthen in the northern plains, over the Rocky Mountains and into the Midwest, CNN reported.
These areas should expect heavy snowfall followed by a massive drop in temperature, meaning travelers should exercise caution.
Thursday will pose problems primarily for Americans in the Midwest — residents in Chicago and western Minnesota should expect “whiteout conditions” that could make travel impossible.
The snow plume could reach as far south as parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, weather reports said, but only about an inch is expected.
From Thursday night through Friday morning, the storm will turn into a “bomb cyclone” on Friday morning, officials predict.
This weather phenomenon occurs when a storm rapidly intensifies and then within 24 hours lowers the atmospheric pressure.
“This is one instance where the snow totals may not inform the entire store,” the NWS said.
“Even small amounts of snow, combined with very strong gusts of wind and falling temperatures, can lead to poor visibility and slippery patches on the roads.
“The sudden onset of these conditions can increase the hazard.”
On Wednesday night, the sheriff’s department in a South Dakota county announced that its offices would be closed due to the appalling conditions.
“Many vehicles fail in freezing temperatures,” according to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.
“Even minutes outside can be life-threatening.”
As of Wednesday night, a whopping 494 US flights had been canceled for December 21, according to FlightAware, while another 1,070 flights scheduled for the following day were cancelled.
Derek Karva, Detroit’s local Fox News meteorologist, tweeted: “Friday travel will be absolutely impacted as will Saturday.
“If you can change your plans to leave Wednesday or Thursday I would recommend it.:
He also warned travelers about the dangers of driving in the snow.
People on social media are in turmoil over the storm and its impact on their travels.
“Say a prayer as we drive to MN through the *checks notes* ‘Pre-Christmas Bomb Cyclone,'” said one Twitter user.
A future Dramamine-inspired traveler tweeted, “As a nervous aviator I really need everyone to stop saying ‘bomb cyclone’ thanks!”
The bomb cyclone was dubbed Winter Storm Elliott by the Weather Channel.
“They name it like a hurricane,” someone said on Twitter.
The US Postal Service is urging last-minute vacation shoppers to meet shipping deadlines as the winter storm approaches, which could cause delays.
In preparation, USPS has hired several new seasonal employees to handle the high demand for supplies.
However, the fate of the gifts that reach their destination by Christmas is ultimately up to us.
The pressure is on as USPS has set shipping deadlines for customers.
December 20th was the deadline for USPS Priority Mail Service.
December 23rd is the last day for Priority Mail Express.
Customers trying to meet these deadlines do not do so without problems.
Many experience grueling lines and crowded parking lots.
One customer told KARE, “I just started with USPS and I couldn’t even find a parking spot.”
He continued: “And then I imagined what it would be like to stand in line inside. So I came here.”
Another explained, “I think everyone’s trying to get it out before the blizzard.”
USPS spokesman Desai Abdul-Razzaaq said, “In the event of mandatory road closures by local, state or federal officials, the USPS will suspend services in those areas.”
Cold temperatures should improve after the Christmas weekend.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6969276/bomb-cyclone-dangerous-blizzard-travel-chaos/ Bomb cyclone to unleash dangerous blizzard, strong winds and arctic cold with 100m under weather observation and travel in chaos