A nasty winter storm—being referred to as a bomb cyclone—is pounding the Northeast with heavy snowfall and destructive winds. States being affected include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Midwest and southern states have also endured subzero temperatures and wind chills this week, with many businesses and schools closing.
Conditions that make a bomb cyclone involve fast drops in barometric pressure that occur when warm air meets cold air, which is characteristic of all storms. According to the National Weather Service, “the air starts to move, and with the rotation of the Earth creates a cyclonic effect. The direction is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (when viewed from above), leading to winds that come out of the northeast.”
By definition, the barometric pressure must drop by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours for a storm to be called a bomb cyclone.