You probably heard last week that Colorado endured a “bomb cyclone.” Some of us looked out the window and just thought it was a snowstorm, but we were wrong.
After researching this name I now know that the term was first coined back in the 1940’s and has been used ever since. The northeast had two bomb cyclones in 2018 alone. Maybe I haven’t watched enough of the weather channel or perhaps because it wasn’t happening in my own backyard I was just oblivious to the fact that it existed. So what is a bomb cyclone? Basically it means that the pressure drops drastically within the storm cell in 24 hours causing hurricane-like winds resulting in an intense storm (livescience.com).
My first clue that something was going to be “different” about this storm was when our weather man started comparing the winds to a category 2 hurricane 48 hours prior to it hitting. I had to turn up the news to make sure I was hearing him correctly and that it was actually our local news and not some forecast coming out of Florida. Nope, they were talking about hurricane winds in land locked Colorado.
My second clue that something was amiss was when I woke up on Wednesday morning to the worst headache. It was raining, so I turned the news on to see if the storm was still heading our way. Indeed it was and they explained how the barometric pressure had dropped drastically (hence my headache) and that the snow and wind would begin shortly.
Well, the bomb cyclone did indeed hit within the hour. The snow and wind came in with a vengeance leaving people at work surprised by the intensity. I say surprised because let’s face it, the meteorologists sometimes have a difficult time getting the weather just right. This time they were spot on! By 11:00 people were scrambling to get home, but it was too late. Over 1,200 people were stranded on the roads. Some of those people were in their cars for over 12 hours before being rescued by first responders or walking to safety.
Fortunately, most people did heed the warning and stayed home, including the inhabitants of our home. By noon the lights started flickering and we were hearing that people were losing power. We cranked the heat, turned both fireplaces on and charged our phones in anticipation. Fortunately, for us we kept our power and mostly just binge watched TV and ate our way through the storm. Having puppies, we did have to brave the storm and go outside many times during the day and I can safely say, it was WINDY AND COLD! All in all, it wasn’t that bad at our house though.
The amount of snow and wind varied depending on which part of the city you live in. I know some of our friends a few miles south had mostly rain while some a few miles north had wind gusts up to 97 mph and large amounts of snow! While it’s difficult to know how much snow we actually received because the wind blew it all into drifts, we estimate we had around 10 inches. We were prepared and had secured all the lawn furniture and while the wind blew for at least 12 hours, we were protected by the hill behind us.
Our friends up north lost power, had temps that fell below 50 degrees INSIDE the house and still have 15-foot drifts of snow!
Most of the city was shut down for 3 days and while one was for the storm, two were due to closed and impassable roads. Overall, I would say we fared pretty well considering we were hit by a bomb! The real bomb hits today though when everyone has to return to work and school!