Bombogenesis: Low pressure’s explosive intensification

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Dear Tom,
Last week, WGN-TV meteorologist Demetrius Ivory stated that during the big nor’easter, the storm’s central barometric pressure dropped 24 millibars in 24 hours. Is that supposed to mean something to your typical viewers?
— Richard Derr
Dear Richard,
The message Mr. Ivory was conveying to viewers was that this storm was going to be significant and dangerous. When low pressure undergoes explosive intensification and the central pressure drops at the rate of at least one millibar an hour for 24 hours, it is considered to be undergoing “bombogenesis.” This process occasionally occurs when low pressure centers moving up the East Coast interact with the warm Gulf Stream waters. These storms typically batter the Eastern Seaboard with strong, damaging northeast winds, high waves, heavy rain and heavy snow.

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