wild weather
March 14, 2019

A "bomb cyclone" storm that's bringing hurricane-force winds to Colorado has left close to 1,100 motorists stranded in the state.

A bomb cyclone storm happens when there is a rapid drop in pressure. The storm has caused blizzard conditions across Colorado, dropping more than nine inches of snow near Boulder, and it is intensifying as it moves into the Great Plains and Midwest. "This isn't your average Colorado storm," El Paso County spokesman Ryan Parsell told CNN.

Officials warned people to stay off the roads, as the ice made conditions dangerous. There was a 100-car pile-up near Wellington, and a state police officer helping a stranded motorist was killed north of Denver on Wednesday morning when he was hit by a car. In the hardest-hit areas, police officers out responding to car accidents were told to leave their vehicles and find shelter. "We are at the point where we are rescuing rescuers out there," Elbert County Manager Sam Albrecht told CNN. Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2019

It's been a soggy February in California.

Since the first of the month, storms have dumped 18 trillion gallons of water in the state, the National Weather Service said. That's the equivalent of 27 million Olympic-sized pools, or 45 percent the total volume of Lake Tahoe. "If you weighed all the water, it would come out to 150 trillion pounds of water," KGO-TV meteorologist Mike Nicco said. "That's a lot of weight."

The snowpack in the Sierras is at 141 percent of its seasonal average and above its April 1 benchmark, the Los Angeles Times reports, and that will provide water for farmers once it begins to melt. All of this rain hasn't been enough to get California out of its drought, though; the United States Drought Monitor reports that a large portion of Southern California is still considered abnormally dry, and there are some small areas in the extreme north and south of the state experiencing moderate to severe drought. Catherine Garcia

January 30, 2019

At least eight deaths are linked to the polar vortex hitting the Midwest, where many cities are recording their lowest temperatures in decades.

An elderly man in Illinois was found dead after he fell while trying to get into his house, a Milwaukee man was discovered frozen to death in a garage, and a man was killed in Chicago when he was hit by a snowplow, The Associated Press reports. A University of Iowa student was also found dead early Wednesday outside of a campus building.

Chicago's temperature dropped to 23 degrees below zero, and it was minus-27 degrees in Minneapolis and 25 degrees below zero in Sioux Falls. The wind chill made it feel like 50 below zero in cities across the Midwest. With mail service suspended in most areas and many businesses closed, the few people who did venture out found ice crystals on their eyelashes and eyebrows after just a few minutes.

At least 2,700 flights were canceled, more than half of them in Chicago, and more than two dozen water mains froze in Detroit. Temperatures will remain bone-chilling through Thursday, and are expected to hit the 20s on Friday. Catherine Garcia

October 23, 2018

Hurricane Willa made landfall Tuesday night south of Mazatlan, Mexico, as a Category 3 storm, with winds up to 120 mph.

Mazatlan is a popular tourist destination, and several cruise ships bound for the resort town have been diverted and more than 4,000 people along the coast have been evacuated. Officials are warning of life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind in parts of western Mexico, with Willa expected to be one of the most dangerous storms to hit Mexico in years, CBS News reports.

This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout. Catherine Garcia

October 21, 2018

On Sunday, Hurricane Willa strengthened into a Category 4 storm, and is expected to make landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico by Tuesday.

Willa now has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, and is about 220 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes. A hurricane watch is now in effect for the shore between Mazatlan and San Blas, and forecasters are warning Willa could produce dangerous storm surge and dump as much as 10 inches of rain in some parts of western Jalisco, western Nayarit, and southern Sinaloa states. Catherine Garcia

October 7, 2018

The National Hurricane Center announced Sunday that Tropical Storm Michael, which is expected to bring heavy rains to parts of Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula through Monday, will likely soon become a hurricane.

Brian Fortier, a senior meteorologist at the Weather Channel, told NBC News Michael will probably become a hurricane within the next 24 hours, and "stay a low-grade hurricane before it comes onshore and moves northeast across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina." Michael is expected to pick up speed over the next few days, before hitting the U.S. on Wednesday, and could bring heavy rains, winds, and dangerous storm surge to areas that experienced flooding during Hurricane Florence in September. Catherine Garcia

September 12, 2018

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is the most powerful tropical cyclone in the world, with 170 mph winds, and is set to cross over the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Macau over the next few days.

The Global Disaster and Alert Coordination System said that as many as 43.3 million people could be affected by the storm, which is now causing power outages and flooding in Guam. Mangkhut is expected to sweep across the northern Philippines on Friday as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, but will likely weaken before reaching Hong Kong and Macau. The agriculture secretary of the Philippines warned that with the harvest season nearing, Mangkhut could cause up to $25 million in damage to crops on the island of Luzon.

It's a busy storm season in the Atlantic and Pacific. Hurricane Florence, headed for the Carolinas, is a Category 3, while Tropical Storm Barijat is now passing Hong Kong to the south. Tropical Storm Olivia is bringing at least 15 inches of rain to some parts of Hawaii, and Hurricane Helene, a Category 1, is west of Cabo Verde and expected to stay over the open ocean, The Washington Post reports. Catherine Garcia

July 9, 2018

Tropical Storm Chris will likely strengthen to a hurricane off the East Coast overnight, and forecasters are warning swimmers and surfers in South Carolina to take precaution.

Current conditions could create currents in Georgetown and Horry counties that sweep people into rip currents or piers and jetties, CBS News reports. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, and is expected to travel northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. On Monday evening, the National Hurricane Center said Chris was about 215 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Catherine Garcia

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