March has already brought some wild weather for the United States, and roller coaster ride will only continue with the approaching “bomb cyclone.”
Believe it or not “Bombogenesis” is not only a fun word to say, but an actual phenomenon in the weather community. It is used when a cyclone, a name given to an area of low pressure drops 24 millibars (the unit used to measure pressure in the atmosphere) within a 24-hour time span. This basically means a fast drop in pressure and a quick intensification of a storm. Like most storms, bomobgenesis is caused by the collision of warm and cold air.
Most commonly in March or the winter months, we’d see a “bomb cyclone” in the form of a nor’easter dropping serveral feet of snow due to an area of low pressure having an ample amount of moisture, as well as warm and cold air supplies. But this week, the area of low pressure is working its way into the plains before hitting “bomb” stage, or when it could drop 24 millibars in less than a day.
This cyclone could even set record breaking numbers in Kansas. Some models are projecting that as the low intensifies, pressure cools drop to 972 mb. Right now the state record for the lowest recorded pressure is 971.2 mb.
Tropical nor’easters fall to a pressure of around 980-990 mb, and strong nor’easters are closer to 960-970 mb range with extreme cases like Superstorm Sandy fell to a pressure of 940 mb.
What does that mean for the states in the path of this weather bomb? Rain, snow, and wind!
This system could result in widespread flooding for the southern half of the country, over a foot of snow in states like Colorado and Nebraska. Winds could reach dangerous levels, especially in higher elevations.
So, what what about central Ohio? Well, it’ll start feeling more like spring! We’ll be on the warm side of things on Thursday, and as a result temperatures will shoot to 15-20 degrees above normal. But, before you get too excited about highs in the 60s, we will also be watching for the chance for some thunderstorms, and a breezy wind with gusts over 40 mph.
Even though we’ve been lucky with storms so far, now is the time to prepare for severe weather season. Make sure that you have a plan for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. The best place to be for both is inside. Especially in the case of a tornado warning, you need to be in the lowest level of your house in the most interior room. When you go to this safe place, you want to make sure that there are as many layers between yourself and the outside wall for protection.
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