The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) is warning of a powerful storm expected to impact parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic region this weekend, threatening heavy snowfall and hurricane-force winds.
Blizzard, winter storm and winter weather watches and warnings are posted for the Carolinas through Pennsylvania, and New York and into Maine, with snow forecast to begin falling Friday afternoon and continue into Saturday, the NWS added.
This phenomenon is called a cyclonic bomb. Here we explain what it is, how this meaning originated and what are its consequences.
What is a cyclonic pump?
According to the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS), a so-called “cyclonic bomb” is a combination of low pressure, cold and moist air, snowfall and strong winds.
A cyclonic bomb is called a storm that strengthens very rapidly and generally drops to an atmospheric pressure of 24 millibars in a 24-hour time span.
However, millibars (atmospheric pressure measurement) can vary, as these are based on the latitude of the storm. So the measurement will be adjusted according to the place where this phenomenon occurs.
However, the 24 millibars is based on the latitude of the storm, so. the figure may change depending on where the storm forms.
Are there any precedents?
In 2019, such an event occurred in the United States, when all state highways in Colorado were reportedly closed due to deteriorating weather conditions.
At that time, the storm caused wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour in the Denver International Airport area, which is equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, and forced the cancellation of 1,300 flights.
In 2018, another cyclonic bomb affected the northeastern United States and claimed the lives of about 20 people. It affected the Long Island area, along the Atlantic coast, Manhattan and along the New Jersey coast – but to a lesser extent.
New York’s JFK Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport then had to pause operations.
What are the effects?
“It will make travel virtually impossible,” said Patrick O’Hara, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, based in New Jersey. “It’s the first really big storm of the year. Every few years we get one, it’s not extremely unusual.”
Many parts of the region can expect one to two feet (30-60 cm) of snow and wind gusts of 70 miles (113 km) per hour, the weather service reported.
Boston, New England’s most populous city with 700,000 residents, could get at least a foot of snow, while New York City, the nation’s largest metropolis, could get nine inches of snow, forecasters said.
The weather service warned that blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility and strong winds could knock down tree limbs and knock out power in parts of the region.
Parts of the Atlantic coast also faced the possibility of flooding in low-lying areas and vulnerable roads, the NWS said.
The storm system will push temperatures down. Highs will range from 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit below average in the eastern third of the U.S. on Saturday.
* With information from Reuters.
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