HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Flood, snow, avalanche and fire alerts popped up Monday from Idaho to Colorado.
Welcome to springtime in the Rockies and parts of the Great Plains.
Those conditions are what drove a wildfire Sunday on Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. A house fire sparked a blaze that quickly burned through 1,700 acres of dry grass and trees. It forced evacuations Sunday in Lame Deer before fire crews were able to contain it.
The storm system is forecast to intensify and form into a new inland “bomb cyclone.”
A bomb cyclone is a rapid drop in air pressure — at least 24 millibars in 24 hours — along with volatile weather from the jet stream. The National Weather Service says the central and mountain part of the country may get one of these every few winters.
But this would be the second such storm in less than a month.
This week’s bomb cyclone one is expected to be similar in intensity and in snowfall
The storm is expected to flooding in Idaho and western Montana, and dump up to 2 feet feet of snow in the mountains of Montana and Wyoming. Parts of Colorado that were under a fire warning Monday are expected to see snow and temperatures drop.
Climatologist Russ Schumacher says it’s unusual to see two consecutive inland bomb cyclones.