Storm that gave us much needed rain becomes "bomb cyclone"

Bombogenesis refers to a quickly strengthening storm


ROANOKE, Va. – In recent years, the term 'bomb cyclone' has been thrown out there. Many meteorologists had never heard this used until recent years, but we have heard of the phrase bombogenesis. These buzzwords and catch phrases are oftentimes brought into the public eye to generate interest in weather. So while this term is currently circulating, let's explain what it means and how it's played a role in our weather. 

A storm that undergoes bombogenesis is a storm that has strengthened very quickly. The same area of low pressure that delivered much-needed rain to our area yesterday moved offshore and intensified.

Bombogenesis requires that the central pressure of a storm system drop by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours or less. Upon some analysis of surface charts, I've noted a drop of more than 30 millibars. This actually happens more than you might think, especially in the fall and winter.  

When the pressure drops in a storm system, more air is drawn in to fill the void, so to speak.


This causes an increase in wind speed, which for some in Massachusetts has meant hurricane-force wind gusts. Just check out this tweet from the National Weather Service in Boston!

The storm is powerful enough to produce strong wind gusts in our area too. However, nothing we've seen has been quite as strong as what some are seeing in Massachusetts and Maine. 

The wind will continue to stay gusty at times, especially west of the Parkway, through Thursday afternoon.


Come Friday, as this system departs to the north and east, the wind will relax. 

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