'Massive and possibly historic' winter storm headed this way

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"'We call storms that drop 24 millibars in 24 hours a bomb, a bombogenesis, the beginning of a cyclone.' The more technical (and less eye-catching) term is a baroclinic midlatitude cyclone".

On March 13 the cyclone began to unleash its fury in Colorado, where some locations saw up to a foot and a half of snow.

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

The storm is forecast to bring heavy rains, severe thunderstorms, heavy snows, high winds and blizzard-like conditions through Friday from the central Rockies, across the Plains into the Mississippi Valley and into the upper Great Lakes. The weather service office in Midland/Odessa, Texas, said Wednesday could be 'the windiest day in years, USA Today reported.

"70 million people will potentially be affected by this storm system across the Plains states, bringing blizzard conditions, potential tornadoes and flash flooding", Dean said Wednesday on "FOX & friends".

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

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More than 1,000 flights have been canceled Wednesday, according to FlightAware.

Southwest Airlines has canceled all departures out of DIA after 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, said Emily Williams, an airport spokeswoman. Heavy snow is expected in portions of the Rockies and northern Plains, including Denver into Thursday.

Many police departments across the state have sent out blizzard survival tips, urging people to carry emergency kits with them if they venture out into the formidable weather.

Denver Public Schools closed Wednesday because of "severe winter weather and road conditions", and more than two dozen schools districts in South Dakota are closed due to weather.

The storm will also bring heavy rain to areas of eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota that already have a good deal of snow on the ground, the NWS said.

'The heavy snow and visibility near zero will create extremely unsafe travel conditions, and power outages are also possible'. Blizzard conditions could spread into the Northern Plains region by Thursday morning. Schools were closed in many places where more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow and winds as high as 80 miles per hour (129 kph) were possible. "Widespread blowing snow will reduce visibility to near zero at times".

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