A bomb cyclone or bomb outbreak powerful winter storm It’s projected to sweep much of the United States this week, with frigid temperatures, heavy snow and other blizzard-like conditions driving millions of Americans on its way. Roaring holiday travel plans And urges warnings from authorities to remain vigilant.
Whenever the weather phenomenon known as a bomb cyclone is mentioned by meteorologists, Google searches for the phrase start to skyrocket. The same trend can be seen today.
Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know about it, according to meteorologists:
What is a bomb cyclone?
A bomb cyclone is a rapidly developing storm that occurs when atmospheric pressure drops by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, notes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration online.
“A bomb cyclone occurs when the atmospheric pressure drops rapidly at the center of the cyclone. To qualify roughly, you need to drop the pressure by about 1. [millibar]or more, every hour for 24 hours,” John Moore, a public relations expert and meteorologist at the National Weather Service, told CBS News.
“This can occur when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as warm sea air,” NOAA explains.
Why is it called a bomb cyclone?
According to Mike Bettes, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, the general term was first used around the 1940s.
“It’s called a bomb cyclone because a cyclone (or cyclone) undergoes a ‘bombogenesis’. This refers to the speed at which the cyclone develops rapidly,” Bethes told his CBS News.
What is the effect of the bomb cyclone?
Bomb cyclone hazards are multifaceted and depend on the location and speed of the storm. Severe pressure bands can cause high winds, blizzard conditions (heavy snow that can impair visibility), and rainfall, officials said. Heavy rainfall can also cause coastal flooding.
“In winter, we can experience heavy snowfall and extreme winds, which usually lead to very dangerous travel conditions, such as blizzards and drifting snow, and poor visibility. Airlines often cancel flights, and high winds often lead to major power outages,” said Bethes.
The combination of frigid temperatures and high winds creates dangerous chills and increases the risk of frostbite.
Moore said bomb cyclones could also cause ripple effects of other weather phenomena.
“There may also be sharp temperature drops along front boundaries associated with some bomb cyclones, and storms may occur along front boundaries in warmer parts of the storm,” Moore said. pointed out Mr.
When do bomb cyclones most often occur?
Bomb cyclones can occur at any time of the year, but they tend to be reported more frequently during the winter months. According to his 2017 study in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, which analyzed the patterns of bomb cyclones that occurred in the North Pacific from 2000 to 2015, they were most common from his December through his early March. is.
Moore says the same is true today.
“Bomb cyclones are more common in the colder months,” he agreed.
How to prepare for a bomb cyclone
Whenever a storm is predicted to hit your area, you need to make sure you are prepared.
Stay up to date with the weather forecast for your area, stock up on enough emergency supplies to last a few days, Make sure your home is protected.
“If you expect winter storm-like effects, prepare accordingly. If you live near coastal areas, coastal flooding can affect you. Heavy rains can also cause flooding, so flood-prone countries should be vigilant,” Moore said.
Bethes agreed with Moore’s advice and advised those in the direct path of the bomb cyclone to stay home.
“In the event of a power outage, people should only use generators as intended by the instruction manual, and never operate generators indoors. Please consider having one,” he added.