Tuesday October 15 2019
For the first time in nearly eight weeks we will have a widespread soaking rain for our region. This storm will spread over 1 inch of rain across the Mid Atlantic through New England on Wednesday, taking on the name Nor’easter. I wanted to explain a little about what that is, plus another term that became mainstream last winter: Bombogenesis or Bomb Cyclone.
Tuesday Morning Satellite
The storm started a few days ago with tropical moisture from the Pacific Ocean that spread across the SW US and northern Mexico. Today it is located across the Gulf Coast region of the SE US.
A Nor’easter is a strong coastal storm that
- moves to the northeast direction
- into the Northeast US
- with winds from the Northeast behind the storm across coastal areas
This storm will not be a classic Nor’easter as the Low Pressure is actually starting in the Ohio Valley and will cross Maryland, then develop off of the coast and head off to the northeast. But for New Englanders, this will be justified.
Bombogenesis or Bomb Cyclone
This bold term has been around for many decades. But when news media picked up on it last winter, it was used to grab attention like Polar Vortex or El Nino. These are real meteorological terms related to science, not consulting research. This is the first of the season, but it’s likely we will have many more through the winter. So here is what it means:
A Bomb Cyclone or a storm ‘bombing out’ refers to a rapid drop in central air pressure. When measured 24 mb drop in 24 hours, or 1 mb per 1 hour over a full day, that rapid development results in heavy rain (or snow) and strong winds. Along the coast, then flooding and beach erosion is likely.
*This is pretty common for strong storms, especially between late fall, winter, and early spring. This is usually due to large temperature contrasts on opposite ends of the storm or jet stream aloft. A storm is one way nature balances out unequal temperature across the planet.
Bombogenesis is the development of a bomb cyclone.
Here is how the storm is forecast to develop with rapid drop or deepening of pressure around the central Low
Storm 24 Hour Development —> slider
I’ve highlighted the central pressure drop forecast and time change starting Wednesday morning. The pressure largest drop forecast is 27 mb in 18 hours. This qualifies a ‘bomb’ storm.
The edge of the true influence from the rapid development along the coast will be around central Maryland. Here between 1 and 2 inches or rain is expected on Wednesday (see the local detailed forecast here). Heavier rain is likely along the track of the strengthening storm into New York and New England where closer to 2 inches or more is expected.
Most areas dry out, but showers will linger in the mountains. Snow is possible above 2,500 Ft in West Virginia and perhaps Garrett County, MD
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