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According to Live Science
Just when you thought the weather couldn’t get worse, the Washington Post hits us with “bomb cyclone.” That’s right, forecasters suggest this “bomb” will make the U.S. East Coast unbearable for many.
How does a system become bomb-cyclone status? Its atmospheric pressure must drop so rapidly, at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service, that it explodes in strength.
“This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone,” the NWS said.
During these bomb-cyclone events, winds can whip up fast, spinning toward the system’s low-pressure center. Snow and blizzard conditions can follow, according to the Weather Channel.
The area of rapidly dropping pressure has already formed off the east coast of Florida as of this morning (Jan. 3) and will move northeastward, dropping snow over the southern Mid-Atlantic Coast by tomorrow morning, according to the NWS. Snow is also forecast over parts of New England by tomorrow morning, with blizzard conditions possible over eastern New England by late Thursday.
The storm is expected to have a pressure plummet of 53 millibars in 24 hours by the time it hits the waters off the east coast of Long Island and eastern New England on Thursday, the Post reported.
And what’s a winter storm without the ominous polar vortex — a spinning mass of cold air that typically encircles the North Pole. Typically. However, when that frigid air gets disrupted, it can spread southward, as is forecast to happen later this week (Friday and Saturday), when lobes of the vortex are tugged over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the Post reported. In fact, on Friday, record-low temperatures are expected for most of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where highs will hover in “the single digits and teens,” the Post reported.
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