DENVER (CBS4) – The so called ‘bomb cyclone’ forecasters have been saying would bring a blizzard on Wednesday initially formed in southeast Colorado late Tuesday. It rapidly gained strength during the early Wednesday and was producing some of the lowest barometric readings ever observed in the area.
While there is no official state low barometric pressure reading for Colorado, it is believed that the 975.8 millibar reading measured in La Junta on March 13, 1973, is likely the state record. To put that into perspective we typically see pressure readings that low during Category 2 hurricanes.
As of 9 am Wednesday the pressure reading in La Junta was 971.7 millibars, which is lower than the prior observed low. It’s also a drop of over 30 millibars in under 24 hours which more than exceeds the definition of a bomb cyclone. To be more technically correct, we refer to a storm rapidly gaining strength like this as explosive cyclogenesis.