Rare bomb cyclone hits Friday huge winter storm Heavy snow, strong winds and danger hit much of central and eastern U.S. wind chill temperature, affecting millions of Americans in its path. Meanwhile, flooding is threatening the Northeast.the storm is Roaring Vacation Travel Planning And prompted officials to warn of precautionary measures.
Whenever meteorologists mention the weather phenomenon known as a bomb cyclone, Google searches for the phrase start to spike — and we saw the same trend this week.
Here’s what you need to know about bomb cyclones, and how to prepare for them.
What is a Bomb Cyclone?
NOAA notes online that a bomb cyclone, also known as a bomb blast, is a fast-growing storm that occurs when atmospheric pressure drops by at least 24 millibars in a 24-hour period.
“A bomb cyclone occurs when the atmospheric pressure in the center of the cyclone drops rapidly. To be roughly qualified, the pressure needs to drop by about 1 [millibar]or more, every hour of the 24-hour period,” National Weather Service public affairs specialist and meteorologist John Moore told CBS News.
“This happens when a mass of cold air collides with a mass of warm air, such as the air over warm ocean water,” NOAA explained.
Why is it called a bomb whirlwind?
According to The Weather Channel’s meteorologist Mike Bates, the popular term was first used in the 1940s.
“It’s called a bomb cyclone because the low pressure (or cyclone) experiences ‘bomb generation,’ which refers to how quickly the low pressure develops,” Bettis told CBS News.
What are the effects of the bomb cyclone?
The hazards of bomb cyclones can be manifold and vary according to the location and speed of the storm. According to the agency, the high pressure zone can cause strong winds, blizzards (heavy snow can reduce visibility) and rain. Heavy precipitation can also lead to coastal flooding.
“In winter, you get heavy snowfall and high winds. This often results in very dangerous travel conditions, with blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility. Airlines will often cancel flights because the conditions are too dangerous to fly. High winds can often Caused widespread power outages,” Bates said.
The mix of frigid temperatures and strong winds can create dangerous wind chills, increasing the risk of frostbite.
Moore said the bomb cyclone would also set off a chain reaction of other weather events.
“Sharp temperature drops may also occur along frontal boundaries associated with some bomb cyclones. In warmer regions of the storm, frontal boundaries may also experience storms,” Moore noted.
When do bomb cyclones occur most often?
While bomb cyclones can occur any time of year, they tend to be reported more frequently during the winter months. According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology that analyzed the patterns of bomb cyclones over the North Pacific Ocean from 2000 to 2015, they are most common between December and early March.
Moore said the same is true today.
“Bomb cyclones often occur more during the cold season,” he agrees.
How to Prepare for a Bomb Cyclone
Whenever a storm is forecast to hit your area, you should make sure to be prepared.
Stay up-to-date on the weather forecast for your area, stock up on enough emergency supplies to last several days, and Make sure your home is protected.
“If you expect to be affected by something like a winter storm, prepare accordingly. Coastal flooding can have an impact if you live near the coast. Heavy rainfall associated with bomb cyclones can also cause flooding, so those who live People in those areas that are vulnerable to flooding should remain vigilant,” Moore said.
Bates echoed Moore’s advice and encouraged people in the immediate path of the bomb cyclone to stay home.
“In the event of a power outage, people should only use generators according to the instruction manual and never operate generators indoors. Also, consider using alternate heat sources that don’t involve open flames,” he added.