If you have not
quite finished freaking out about the “bomb cyclone” that has been
battering the East Coast over the week, relax, it’s just another intensified
winter storm that intends no apocalyptical scheme. And yes, meteorologists can
be dramatic sometimes.
The real name of the
referred “bomb cyclone” is Grayson,
the first winter storm of 2018.
The reason that people rushed to give it a new title is related to the
storm’s rapid change in central pressure.
The official term is
explosive cyclogenesis or bombogenesis (still dramatic). “Bombing” in
this context occurs when a low pressure system’s (like a storm, or in extreme cases hurricane where the
region’s atmospheric pressure is lower than surrounding area) central pressure
drops 24 milibars (a unit measurement of pressure usually adopted by
meteorologists) in 24 hours or less. It may not seem a big change in numeric sense as the standard surface pressure of the earth is 1013.2
millbars. But the drop could empower the system to pick up more air and gain
strength to go a long long way.
So the evolution of
winter storm Grayson to “bomb cyclone” is just like that. And not to
worry, it is not a hurricane, though the bashing winds may sure feel like hurricane-calibre.
aside, it is still a dangerous weather condition. Stay warm and stay safe on the road.