Is It a Bomb Cyclone?
March 13, 2019 7:27 AM   Subscribe is here to answer one question about today's weather in Colorado. posted by asperity (43 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Hey now, keep it down, I'm trying to stay home today.
posted by evilDoug at 7:32 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]

Nah, it's merely a dope cyclone.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:37 AM on March 13 [15 favorites]

Check this out.
posted by BYiro at 7:47 AM on March 13 [24 favorites]

Wow, that wind map is awesome.
posted by asperity at 8:09 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]

Whatever it is, the raindrops turned to snowflakes just now in my Denver neighborhood. "It's coming down," said The Man, in the silence just before the soundtrack turned ominous.
posted by kozad at 8:20 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

“Denver residents can expect 7 to 12 inches of mad beats to drop overnight, followed by chill winds.”
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:24 AM on March 13 [15 favorites]

OK now I'm feeling kinda bad about suggesting someone follow Polis around: Man barricaded himself inside governor’s office at Capitol before being arrested. Though that tweet embarrasses me just to read it.

And my neighborhood's just switched from rain to sleet or snow, not totally sure which.
posted by asperity at 8:25 AM on March 13

Here's an interactive 3D wind map of the whole world. I see some interesting whorliness up by Alaska.
posted by smcameron at 8:40 AM on March 13 [9 favorites]

This after avalanches all over the state.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:55 AM on March 13

You ever heard of sheet hail? Me neither! My friend who lives in Colorado Springs showed me images of a one foot deep, sudden, (as they are,) hail storm they had last summer. Then a week later they had sheet hail, in which large plaques of four inch thick sheets of ice fell from the sky crushing cars and roofs and the like. They got it going on weather wise, over there. I guess that arctic air meets the Caribbean up swing of moist air currents, and stuff goes on.
posted by Oyéah at 9:10 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]

Metafilter: Whorliness!
posted by Oyéah at 9:11 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]

I see some interesting whorliness up by Alaska.

The Hairy Ball Theorem is your interesting math fact for the day. Check it out!

(once you stop chuckling at the name)
posted by mookoz at 9:40 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]

My absolute favorite weather group here in Colorado, Weather5280*, started talking about this possibility last week and as it moved closer and the models were all over the place I began to feel really sorry for all the meteorologists, because they didn't want to predict something like that (along with all the other winter storm warnings) and have it bust, yet. . . the models had some pretty broad variation. I was amused by (and felt bad for) the Boulder NWS yesterday who basically had to be like, it's going to be bad somewhere, but we just can't be precise about where yet, don't @ us.

For anybody interested in some discussion about how this occurred, along with some super neat maps of pressure and wind, they have one ongoing right now. For a good discussion of the forecast predictions check out their post from yesterday.

It's also been hard not to really excited about this event occurring in the craton of a continent and getting to see it live, and also know that it has a chance for real destruction particularly in east CO and western KS, so worried about others. I've settled on "be excited until news about actual destruction". I've already taken so many screenshots of the wind maps! Our power has gone out twice already, so that may temper my excitement a tad.

Anyway, last night was super eerie - it was very warm and still. You could feel it in the air and it actually made me quite restless. All the birds at the lake nearby had gone to ground and I didn't notice any foxes/raccoons/squirrels/coyotes out late.

*if you like CO weather and some discussion about it, you might like them! Their "bust index" for storms is quite nice.
posted by barchan at 9:46 AM on March 13 [11 favorites]

OMG, it is a bomb cyclone, y'all! It is!

I do hope there's no significant destruction. The wind outside's making my walls/windows creak a bit, kind of unnerving but not too scary.
posted by asperity at 9:50 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]

I see some interesting whorliness up by Alaska

Not to mention the red annulus near Madagascar.
posted by waving at 10:03 AM on March 13

Bomb cyclone sounds like a new hit track from Rage Against the Machine.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:32 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]

Anyone know of any good webcams?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:03 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

Been watching CODOT populate the road closure map like busy little bees - the road closures lengths on I-70 and I-25 have been getting longer and longer. Also seeing them require chains on passenger cars on roads I've never seen them require them before. Poor folks.

We've been experiencing rolling blackouts so far. My (personal) weather station has measured one wind gust over 45 mph but so far wind speeds have been holding steady between 20 and 30, which is not quite a true blizzard, but it is only noon and it's been steadily climbing. Annnnnd as I type this it just measured a gust at 52 mph, but the wind gauge is not set as high in the air as it should be so take that with a grain of salt.

Meanwhile I've got chili simmering on the stove and feel all prepared for the power to go out. Spent yesterday evening cleaning up/weighing down all the loose things around the yard and house. Didn't see a lot of people doing that?

ZeusHumms, I don't know if I'd classify them as "good" but COTrip has webcams and cameras, but the snow seems to sticking to a lot of them. You can look around this site or this site a little. I imagine the farther east you go the more exciting it will be, especially later in the day as the blizzard is just starting. DIA has a webcam but it's just showing snow and wind right now. Here's another list of webcams but as you can see the sticking snow/wind and possibly power outages have a lot of them down.
posted by barchan at 11:24 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]

oooh ZeusHumms, if you're not from CO or don't know the area well, on the webcam list off on the right in the link asperity gave you'll see ones for places like Fort Morgan, Limon, Wray possibly, Yuma, Sterling, and Julesberg. Or Kimball, Nebraska. Those are ones I'd keep an eye on later today- that's probably where the worst weather might be, or at least the highest winds - where they are talking about drifts being measured in feet.
posted by barchan at 11:54 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]

The downtown Denver one has gotten noticeably snowier while I've been eating lunch.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:57 AM on March 13

I just measured and in the last 3 hours we’ve had around two and a half inches of snow stick. I’m nestled against the foothills though and we’re in a definite microclimate at so that may not be true of places even a mile or two away.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:09 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]

Not to mention the red annulus near Madagascar.

That is the cyclone Idai.
posted by RichardP at 1:13 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]

A møøse once closed my library. No realli!
posted by traveler_ at 2:27 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]

Governor declared an emergency. No idea what Level II Operations means, but it sounds serious!
posted by asperity at 2:51 PM on March 13

It's been fascinating watching snowdrifts form on this julesberg webcam.

Governor declared an emergency. No idea what Level II Operations means, but it sounds serious!

It looks like there are stranded drivers all over the state. I've seen some twitter updates that there are a lot of people - like hundreds - stranded on I-25 alone, particularly around Monument. This video of a pile-up near the Palmer Divide is something else.

who the fuck thought today was the day to hike the Manitou Incline?
posted by barchan at 3:14 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]

Ah, it looks like level II means the Governor has called up the National Guard (to help with stranded motorists).
posted by barchan at 3:15 PM on March 13

My brother lives in Monument and has been without power since earlier today. Luckily they have a gas fireplace so they and their critters have stationed themselves appropriately.
posted by mightshould at 4:30 PM on March 13

Here's my local Thornton, CO cams. One of them, like the windows on my house, is plastered with snow.
posted by audi alteram partem at 4:41 PM on March 13

Here's another wind map. It has lots of other things like lightning.
posted by eye of newt at 5:58 PM on March 13

Another wind map. I hope people mostly stayed in and safe and not hike. I have spent 2 Springs in Colorado and this seems late in the season for snow, to say nothing of bomb cyclone.
posted by theora55 at 6:46 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]

I have spent 2 Springs in Colorado and this seems late in the season for snow, to say nothing of bomb cyclone.

Nah, March is on average the snowiest month, with April actually coming in 3rd.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:35 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I always expect snow until Mother's Day.

Really not so bad in my area, and we had no power interruptions, but I don't have high hopes for Denver streets being usable tomorrow.

Bomb cyclone, though!
posted by asperity at 10:27 PM on March 13

From theora55's wind map -- 53 mph in OKC, 61 mph in Norman, 64 mph in Tulsa, at 12:33 a.m. Thursday.
It's almost that time of year in Tornado Alley. I'm keeping this website in my favorites. Thank you!
posted by TrishaU at 10:34 PM on March 13

Long, chilly night for some folks.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:19 PM on March 13

It's hard to believe over 1000 motorists got caught in this given the media attention to it. I hope they all have warm socks and no small kids.

For you storm junkies: there was a big storm in Ireland over the weekend with 130km/h winds and 40 foot waves so they held a windsurfing competition and the footage is amazing. I honestly did not think some of those lads were coming back down once the wind got them. Spectators.
posted by fshgrl at 11:49 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]

From work (not in Colorado): "A bomb cyclone sounds like either some sort of terrorist thing, or like the best possible thing you could ever order at a Dairy Queen."
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:09 AM on March 14 [4 favorites]

I’m very intrigued by sheet hail and trying to find more info! Is there another term for it?

I am finding out about the hail storm of 2018 tho. I would have the lowest deductible possible on my car if hail like that happened regularly! Unbelievable!!!
posted by sio42 at 5:31 AM on March 14

I'm very much on the periphery of the storm living in Chicago but I barely slept the last two nights because the wind rattling my building's windows was so loud and the pressure changes destroy my sinuses. I had to tape my window screens in place to keep them from violently rattling. Also the vents in my apartment are roaring like subways. I assume they are powered by those roof top spinners (I am on the 16th floor of a 17 floor building).
posted by srboisvert at 4:18 AM on March 15

Apparently we're back in potential bomb cyclone territory and this post isn't even closed yet. Wow.
posted by asperity at 10:21 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]

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