Bomb Cyclone: All you need to Know

Why in news?

As northern India shivers due to the prevailing cold wave, 8,431 miles away, in the United States of America, a ‘bomb cyclone’ is causing exposed skin to freeze within 30 minutes.

The United States East Coast and Midwest are battling record-breaking low temperatures as cold Arctic air continues to sweep through the region followed by the freezing winter storm — bomb cyclone or bombogenesis.

What is a bomb cyclone?

A bomb cyclone is also known as a “bombogenesis” which comes from combining “bomb” with “cyclogenesis”.

What does this mean?

To non-meteorologists, this means storm formation. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a storm undergoes bombogenesis when its central low pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

What is a millibar?

A millibar is a unit of pressure that measures the weight of the atmosphere overhead. Sea-level pressure is about 1,010 millibars.

When do bomb cyclones or storms happen?

They occur when a rising column of air leaves an area of low pressure at the Earth’s surface which then sucks in the air from surrounding areas. When this air converges, the storm spins faster and faster. The often deadly winds are stronger the closer you are to the centre.

Which areas will be affected by the current Bomb cyclone?

Major northeastern cities such as Boston risk being hit by blizzards and states of emergency have been issued for Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Forecasters say New York City may see up to a foot of snow with similar or higher levels forecast for the whole of New England.


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