Explainer: What Is A Bomb Cyclone?

Central and eastern parts of the United States and Canada have been hit by a bomb cyclone, a meteorological phenomenon caused by a rapid pressure drop within 24 hours.
Explainer: What Is A Bomb Cyclone?
Explainer: What Is A Bomb Cyclone?

The majority of the central and eastern United States and Canada were battered by a huge winter storm that produced a rare weather phenomenon, a bomb cyclone. The icy cyclone has impacted millions of people along its path and dumped heavy snow, powerful winds, and dangerous wind chill levels.

According to the local media, at least 38 people in the US and Canada have perished because of this bomb cyclone. 34 of the 38 victims were registered across the US, with Buffalo and New York accounting for the majority. Additionally, Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Colorado all recorded storm-related fatalities.

The other four victims died when a bus overturned on an ice road close to Merritt, which is located in British Columbia's westernmost province.

What is a bomb cyclone?

Storms form when low-pressure masses collide with high-pressure masses. As the two masses collide, they begin rotating around each other, generating strong winds. A bomb cyclone is a powerful low-pressure system that is created when a powerful low-pressure system intensifies quickly, causing the atmospheric pressure to drop rapidly by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

A millibar is the unit of measurement for air pressure. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a decrease in millibars means lower air pressure, which is an indication that the storm is intensifying.

A bomb cyclone is also known as bombogenesis or explosive cyclogenesis, and it occurs when a storm intensifies quickly over a short period of time. 

According to the BBC, over 2 million people in the US and Canada have lost power, and thousands of flights have been canceled.

Following the bomb cyclone, the US is experiencing record-breaking freezing temperatures as Arctic air blasts through large portions of the nation. According to the weather reports and analyses, this winter is the coldest one the country has experienced in over 40 years. The temperatures in the US state of Montana have dipped as low as -45 degrees celsius.


Related | What Is The Difference Between A Cyclone, Hurricane, And Typhoon?


It is so cold that even boiling water freezes in a matter of seconds. 

The drop in temperature is predicted to become life-threatening in the upcoming week. There is a greater chance of hypothermia (a medical emergency where the body loses heat much faster than it produces it) and frostbite (when the skin and the underlying tissues freeze), which develop significantly more quickly under these circumstances.

People who have asthma are also very vulnerable because when it is extremely cold outside, the body loses fluids more quickly since the dry air sucks moisture from the body. 

Americans and Canadians are advised to stay inside their homes and take precautionary measures to stay safe during this unexpected cyclone. 


Also Read | The Difference Between Weather And Climate


 

 

 

 

FAQ

Why do bomb cyclones happen?

Storms form when low-pressure masses collide with high-pressure masses. A bomb cyclone is a powerful low-pressure system that is created when a powerful low-pressure system intensifies quickly, causing the atmospheric pressure to drop rapidly by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. A millibar is the metric for measuring air pressure. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA), a decrease in millibars means lower air pressure, which is an indication that the storm is intensifying. A bomb cyclone is also known as bombogenesis or explosive cyclogenesis, and it occurs when a storm intensifies quickly over a short period of time.

What are the effects of a bomb cyclone?

Blizzards and extreme cold are the effects of a bomb cyclone. The rigid chill of the weather can cause hypothermia and frostbite, which are life-threatening situations.

Is there such a thing as a bomb cyclone?

A bomb cyclone is a powerful low-pressure system that is created when a powerful low-pressure system intensifies quickly, causing the atmospheric pressure to drop rapidly by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.
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