James Abundis/Globe Staff
The storm approaching New England is forecast to undergo bombogenesis as it rolls up the coast and becomes a weather “bomb.” But you won’t be seeing any fireworks in the sky. Just snow and wind — and possibly plenty of it.
The ominous-sounding term, coined by a pioneering MIT professor, has long been used by meteorologists. It refers to the rapid intensification of a cyclone, which is a system of winds spinning around the center of a low-pressure area.
The technical definition of bombogenesis is when the atmospheric pressure drops at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. It can happen when a cold air mass encounters warm air, such as that over ocean waters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says. The arctic cold air mass we are currently enduring in Massachusetts is expected to meet a low-pressure system moving up the coast with relatively warmer air.
Forecasts call for a 35-millibar drop from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday, and the pressure could dip even lower after that, said Dave Dombek, senior meteorologist at Accuweather.com.
“A bomb goes off and it explodes. That’s essentially what’s happening. It’s not a gradual slow process that takes days to unfold. It goes from almost nothing to a very powerful storm in almost no time,” he said.
Dombek said the storm is expected to “bomb out” offshore. “This storm is not going to be bombing out over Cape Cod or Boston. It’s going to be out in the ocean,” he said.
“I would not want to be a mariner Wednesday night and especially Thursday and Thursday night as the thing goes crazy,” he said.
But he also said the storm is going to have a “pretty wide area of influence” and will hit the mainland with wind and snow, causing drifts and hampering visibility. (The National Weather Service on Tuesday warned of 4 to 7 inches of snow in parts of Eastern Massachusetts.)
The term bombogenesis was coined by the late meteorology professor Frederick Sanders. Sanders, who died in 2006, is credited with using the word “bomb” to describe explosively intensifying winter storms, MIT says.
Bombogenesis is a rapid type of “cyclogenesis,” the birth and intensification of a cyclone. Another term for “bombogenesis” is “explosive cyclogenesis.”
“During winter, such cyclone bombs can cause intense cyclones just off the east coast of the USA with storm-force winds, high waves, and blizzards or freezing rain,” according to the textbook “Practical Meteorology” by Roland Stull.
So get ready, Massachusetts.
Years before she allegedly plowed into a group of pedestrians in Revere on Sunday, killing an infant and a 5-year-old, prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to keep Autumn Harris off the road.Continue reading »
Three exotic dancers were arrested after they offered to perform sexual acts on three undercover police detectives, officials said.Continue reading »
The finger has been the source of much consternation in the small town of Westford, Vt. Was it some kind of political protest? Senior prank? Neighborly dispute?Continue reading »
Poftak, a long-time public policy professional, will succeed Luis Ramirez as general manager starting Jan. 1.Continue reading »
Andrew Black shot himself Dec. 6, hours after he bought a gun, his parents told a local TV station.Continue reading »
Mayor Martin Walsh signed an ordinance to reduce single-use plastic bags last year. On Dec. 14, the new law comes into play.Continue reading »
Three district attorneys have spent approximately $68,000 fighting a so-far-unsuccessful battle to withhold records from the Globe.Continue reading »
A deer stuck in the reservoir Thursday was unable to be saved. It was the second attempted deer rescue from the reservoir in two days.Continue reading »
Days after her sister died at the scene, 2-month-old Natasha Nicole Mejia-Rivera succumbed to her injuries. The family was returning from buying diapers when a vehicle allegedly driven by Autumn Harris crashed into them.Continue reading »