Bomb Cyclone Grayson

Julianna Ruhf, Staff Writer

On January 4th, 2018, Winter Storm Grayson, a bomb cyclone, hit the eastern seaboard, bringing strong winds and heavy snowfall amounts to millions.  

So what is a bomb cyclone anyway? A bomb cyclone is a low pressure system that intensifies very rapidly and has at least dropped 24 millibars in 24 hours to qualify as a bomb cyclone or bombogenesis! When masses of cold air collide with warm air, pressure drops, which typically happens over ocean water. The faster and more significant the drop of pressure, then the more powerful the storm.

Bitter cold gripped most of North America during this time in the winter, which was one of the major factors when this storm formed. The Arctic isn’t as cold as it used to be because of rising temperatures. Studies show that this warming is causing the jet stream to weaken, which normally circulates cold air around the poles. When it’s weak, it’s like a snake wrapping around the Northern Hemisphere. This cold air from the jet stream, around North America at the time, is a factor that causes the creation of bomb cyclone storms, like Grayson.   

A warm core of the storm and ocean temperatures all also helped to form this storm. Warmer air allows pressure to drop quickly rather than a cold cored storm.  The variation of ocean temperatures along the southeast coast helped provide energy to the low pressure system and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream added lift to the storm.

There were many factors that involved the forming of this massive storm which left its mark along the east coast.


Weather Terminology: 

Jet Stream- a narrow, variable band of very strong, predominantly westerly air currents encircling the globe several miles above the earth.

Gulf Stream- A warm ocean current of the northern Atlantic Ocean off eastern North America.Image result for bomb cyclone grayson