Anna Answers: What is a bomb cyclone?

Weather Wisdom

Question: What is a bomb cyclone?

Answer: A bomb cyclone in simple terms to start off is a rapidly intensifying low-pressure system. Currently, on satellite and radar, we see a strong low-pressure system that’s bringing some extreme weather right now to the West Coast.

Storms that are bomb cyclones can be violent weather systems because the rapidly ascending air near the center of the low-pressure within the storm must be replaced by the air surrounding the storm. Now, the winds move towards the center of the storm at the high speeds, that we’re seeing right now.

The definition according to the American Meteorological Society is a surface cyclone with a sensitive pressure that falls on average about a millibar per hour for at least 24 hours.

This bomb cyclone currently on the west coast has just made history as of tonight, Sunday night. It had a pressure reading of 942 millibars, making this the strongest low-pressure system in this part of the Pacific Northwest in history.

Now the weather they’re seeing with this bomb cyclone is heavy rain, a lot of moisture, and those strong winds making rough waters there. The name sounds a lot scarier than it actually is- all it means is the pressure is dropping quickly and the storm is intensifying.

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