What in the world is a "Bomb Cyclone?"

What in the world is a "Bomb Cyclone?"

I was on the phone with my dad the other day when he asked, "What in the world is a bomb cyclone?" He, like many of you, has the question and has every right to be confused.

I'm not sure who decided that this was going to be the new weather buzzword for 2018, but let's set the record straight. This is just a phrase developed to get people's attention towards a rapidly intensifying storm system (specifically the one that just moved up the east coast).

I like to stick to the traditional phrases/words like winter storm, blizzard, or Nor'Easter. But since this new phrase has come up, let's explain how it suddenly turned into a rapidly intensifying hashtag.

This "bomb cyclone" results from a process known as 'bombogenesis,' which is when the central pressure of a storm system drops 24 mb (millibars or pressure points) in a 24 hour period. This happens more often than you might think, so it's nothing really new.

Such a rapid drop in pressure indicates that more air is being drawn into the storm and that it is intensifying. You could easily see that late Wednesday night, as the storm continued to move up the coast.

Now yes, most meteorologists are sick of the hoopla and buzzwords, but let's not dismiss the fact that this storm was indeed a beast. I just told you how bombogenesis requires a 24 mb pressure drop in a 24 hour span. This thing dropped by 59 mb in a 24 hour span! That is nothing short of remarkable!

We should also point out that this storm dropped snow from the Georgia coastline to Maine. That's pretty amazing too!

However, we can still call the thing its original name (winter storm, blizzard, Nor'Easter) and get the point across to our viewers. I'll admit that I've been as bitter as our cold weather about this, but if someone's going to push the envelope with buzzwords - it's at least an opportunity for us to teach you about what it all means.

Hope this clears things up for you!

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