It seems like almost everyone has been talking about the “Bomb Cyclone” or “Bomb Storm” hitting the northeastern U.S.
And I’ve actually overheard conversations about it. Did you have one like this? “I’ve been watching the weather for 20 years and I’ve never heard of a Bomb Cyclone. Is that even a real thing?”
That’s exactly the question we discussed Thursday night on KATU News. The answer is yes, it absolutely is a thing!
Here is a shot of the MIT research paper that named these rapidly developing storms back in the fall of 1980.
So what exactly is a bomb cyclone? It’s a storm that has its pressure drop by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. In plain English, that means a storm that rapidly becomes more intense during a 24 hour time-frame and meets a specific benchmark.
These storms are rare but not unheard of. From my own recollections as a meteorologist for the last two decades, it seems like at least one bomb cyclone per rainy season forms off the west coast that impacts the United States and I’ve tracked these on the east coast as well.
By the way, do you know what the process is called that takes a regular storm and makes it a ‘bomb?’ The term is bombogenesis.
Now there’s a word for this year’s national spelling bee!