“Bomb cyclone” brings hurricane-force winds, chilly weather here

Local News

A powerful nor’easter is moving across Maine into the Bay of Fundy, accompanied by 60- to 90-mph winds and up to 4 inches of rain in eastern New England.

Trees and power lines were toppled by the winds, and high wind warnings extend from coastal Maine to the New York City area.

Top wind gusts early Thursday reached 90 mph at Provincetown, Mass., and 83 mph at Stony Brook, N.Y. More than 550,000 lost power from New England to North Carolina in the storm, and some schools were closed.

All-time record low October barometric pressure readings were observed in parts of New England Thursday morning.

The term “bomb cyclone” refers to a pressure drop of at least 24 millibars (.71 inch) in 24 hours or less.

The nor’easter that developed along the Mid-Atlantic Coast Wednesday was accompanied by a pressure drop of 30 millibars in 15 hours.

The central pressure Thursday morning was near 28.80 inches approaching the New Hampshire-Maine border. The sharp pressure difference between the storm and Canadian high pressure creates a funneling effect, drawing cold air south across the Midwest and Ohio Valley into the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic.

The first formal reference to a “bomb” cyclone appeared in 1980 in the Monthly Weather Review, borrowed from a Bergen School of Meteorology expression for a rapidly deepening storm (usually over the ocean) that dated back to the 1940s.

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