‘Bomb cyclone ‘: Explosive winter storm hits US

A severe winter storm is hitting eastern North America, extending a cold snap that has already claimed 11 lives.

Forecasters say a severe pressure drop has led to an explosive winter storm along the eastern US, and has already brought snow to Florida.

The US is currently on its 11th day of record-breaking frigid temperatures which began around Christmas.

But the predicted new storm has led meteorologists to deploy a new term – bomb cyclone.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ice and snow cover branches near the brink of Niagara Falls

The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned that “Arctic air mass will remain entrenched over the eastern two thirds of the country through the end of the week”.

“Very cold temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills expected,” the NWS added.

What is a ‘bomb cyclone’?

A “bomb cyclone” or “weather bomb” is an unofficial term for what is known as explosive cyclogenesis, according to BBC Weather.

This occurs when the central pressure of a low pressure system falls by 24 millibars in 24 hours and can result in violent winds developing around the system.

The winds can be strong enough to bring down trees and cause structural damage.

  • Ice and snow cover branches near the brink of the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The storm, the Washington Post adds, will “in many ways resemble a winter hurricane” which could be the eastern US’s most intense in decades

Where is it expected to hit?

On Thursday and Friday, the major storm is expected to develop along the eastern seaboard of the US, bringing strong winds, rain, sleet and snow, according to BBC Weather.

The storm is forecast to undergo rapid cyclogenesis over the Atlantic Ocean, and current projections show areas north of New York as having the highest risk of significant impacts from strong winds and heavy snow.

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