'Bomb cyclone' hits US, more than 200 million people affected

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'Bomb cyclone' hits US, more than 200 million people affected

Recently a powerful "Bomb Cyclone" has hit the United States, affecting at least 200 million people. At least 64 people have died.

Important facts

  • Temperatures are predicted to plunge -57 degrees Celsius in certain locations due to the largest winter storm to hit the country in decades.

  • Temperatures dropped across the United States and heavy snow caused power outages in cities, thousands of flights were cancelled and people were stuck in their homes without food.

  • New York's Erie County, which includes Buffalo, is one of the areas most affected by the winter storm, which stretches from the Canadian to the Mexican border.

What is a 'Bomb Cyclone'?

  • Bomb cyclone is used by meteorologists to denote a mid-latitude cyclone that rapidly intensifies.

  • It is a giant winter storm that hits the coast and brings strong winds, flooding, snow and ice.

  • It consists of a combination of rapidly decreasing pressure and extreme cold.

  • This particular storm is the most explosive ever seen on the East Coast.

  • It is called a bomb cyclone because in this the storm strengthens explosively while the pressure subsides.

Formation of 'Bomb Cyclone'

  • Storms form when a mass of low pressure air (warm air mass) meets a high pressure mass (cold air mass).

  • The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.

  • This occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone intensifies rapidly, dropping at least 24 millibars (millibar measures atmospheric pressure) in 24 hours.

  • This rapidly increases the pressure difference, or gradient, between the two air masses, causing the winds to be stronger.

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