If you’re going to die by a bomb cyclone, it might as well be big
Bomb cyclone makes landfall in New England. What do you call it? There’s no shortage of debate over the term.
Some like to call it a blast from the past: a blast of frigid, freezing winds – the remnants of a strong ex-hurricane – rolled across the New England states Wednesday.
Others prefer to adopt the (roughly) defined scenario: a bomb cyclone, meteorologists say.
But how do you choose between the two? With the eruption of social media this morning, it’s increasingly difficult to out-bomb with the definition, with endless references to “the biblical wrath of a single bomb”.
To help you pin down the impact of the enormous storm, we’ve rounded up some terms and definitions. These are abbreviations and substitutes for the real deal.
A bomb cyclone is the strongest storm to bear down on the United States in more than 20 years.
The storm brought with it hurricane-force winds, large amounts of precipitation and flooding.
New England sustained a snowstorm and colder-than-normal temperatures as a result of the storm. Boston was expected to receive up to a foot and a half of snow. Parts of New York and New Jersey could also see four feet. It’s not just the storm itself that’s intense, but the fact that it is occurring across the US in two different parts of the country simultaneously.
Bomb cyclone and storm surge are not strictly separate. In storm surge, the weight of water pulls seawater back into the ocean, often slamming against the coastline and washing over beaches.
Rather than a bomb, a bomb cyclone is a supercell storm (also known as an extratropical cyclone, warm high pressure system or low pressure). There’s more chance of a bomb cyclone in extratropical or warmer areas. Generally, bomb cyclones have the strongest winds, precipitation and temperatures, as compared to weather systems with greater atmospheric instability and/or weather systems with far greater strength.
A bomb cyclone is a large storm affecting many people.
A bomb cyclone could be the last hurrah of any extremely powerful storm system, including Hurricane Florence. Meteorologists are sometimes hard-pressed to come up with names for system and they are usually given through the atmospheric pressure system. There’s no shortage of names for hurricanes and tropical cyclones. For instance, Hurricane Michael, which is currently tearing through Mexico, is the eighth hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic in 2018.
A bomb cyclone is perhaps most well-known for striking North Carolina in 1961. It was a huge storm; it was called the hurricane of the century at the time; it killed an estimated 600 people. It came to an end near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on the coast and winds were about 115mph. The storm was responsible for damaging 90% of the houses in Beaufort County in North Carolina.
It’s in the middle of winter, but this bomb cyclone is still killing people.
People were killed by falling trees and major bridges shut down during the storm.
It’s in the middle of the winter, but this bomb cyclone is still killing people.
A bomb cyclone is a hit to major cities and regions.
New York and Boston both felt the full effect of the bomb, with their airports experiencing long delays and thousands of residents stuck at home.