A powerful winter storm in which a weather system experiences a sharp drop in atmospheric pressure and intensifies rapidly, unleashing hurricane-force winds called 'Bomb cyclone'. Photograph:( WION )
Several bomb cyclones have made headlines in recent years and the latest one which hit northeast United States has thrown normal life out of gear.
Bombogenesis or 'Bomb cyclone' is a popular term that describes a mid-latitude cyclone that intensifies rapidly. It is a powerful winter storm in which a weather system experiences a sharp drop in atmospheric pressure and intensifies rapidly, unleashing hurricane-force winds.
The technical term is 'Explosive cyclogenesis' or 'Bombogenesis'. Bomb cyclone is a shorter way of saying it which comes from combining "bomb" with "cyclogenesis".
According to the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 'Bomb cyclone' occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours.
A millibar is a unit of pressure that measures the weight of the atmosphere overhead. Sea-level pressure is about 1,010 millibars.
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.