What is a bomb cyclone?

× What is a bomb cyclone? The National Hurricane Center said there is a possible hurricane in the Caribbean Sea, but it’s not hurricane season yet. The agency put out a statement Thursday saying…

What is a bomb cyclone?

× What is a bomb cyclone?

The National Hurricane Center said there is a possible hurricane in the Caribbean Sea, but it’s not hurricane season yet.

The agency put out a statement Thursday saying a low pressure area in the southern Lesser Antilles appears to be a tropical cyclone, or tropical depression. It’s not just any tropical cyclone, though.

According to the National Weather Service, “a bomb cyclone has high winds in the lower 20s [degrees Fahrenheit] with gusts to 40 mph and features the lowest pressure observed by the weather station. A bomb cyclone is a tropical cyclone with a pressure of 29.74 (degrees Fahrenheit) or lower.”

And you think you’ve heard that expression before. Here are the five answers to “what is a bomb cyclone?”

A bomb cyclone is a unique type of hurricane, not to be confused with a category 1 or 2 hurricane, National Hurricane Center (NHC) meteorologist Rob Miller told Fox News.

“Historically, only a handful of hurricanes have measured their lowest pressure of the year by storm season,” the National Hurricane Center writes on its website. “On Oct. 17, 1938, a bomb cyclone in the Carolinas brought down trees and power lines. A number of roads became impassable. Most passengers were picked up by automobiles from the ravaged roofs of their trains. Trees were uprooted, roofs collapsed, and a high number of houses lost their foundations. Power was completely out in many parts of New York City, Atlanta, Washington, and Pittsburgh. Eight people died in New York City due to the storm and 10 were killed by falling trees in the Carolinas.”

Timing

A bomb cyclone usually occurs in October and doesn’t occur every year, according to the National Hurricane Center. Typically, it is only produced in the North Atlantic, part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean. During 2018, there were three known “bomb cyclones” that formed during October, including one in October 2018 in the Atlantic Ocean that never made landfall.

What is tropical cyclone (it’s not “hurricane”) season?

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, and the NHC gives storm outlooks three months out from that date for three different Atlantic basin hurricane seasons. In May, the NHC offered a hurricane season outlook, then again in September.

In the spring, the NHC allows predictions of what types of storms will form to fall within a 48-hour window. Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Drennan told Fox News that most experts will agree that there is a better than 50 percent chance of “key development of a tropical depression” before Nov. 30. At the time of writing, there had not been one such tropical depression so far this year.

Hurricane season forecasts

The NHC typically conducts one or two hurricane seasons each year, with different forecasts during each season based on prediction models and forecasts.

Last year, the NHC’s forecast was for 10 to 16 named storms. And on average, the NHC classifies all named storms as hurricanes or tropical storms — those that strengthen to 74 mph or greater. They’re considered a category 1 hurricane when winds reach 74 mph.

During the 2018 season, the NHC provided its forecast for an “above normal” season. It had predicted as many as 20 named storms with nine hurricanes. The season officially ended on Nov. 30.

In 2018, the National Hurricane Center issued a five-day forecast of possible hurricane strikes in the U.S.

What is “bombogenesis”?

According to AccuWeather, a “bomb cyclone” has its own index. The cyclone’s wind speed drops quickly and it’s almost impossible to tell that a hurricane has formed, the site says.

The event can strike by two or three times in the same year as a category 1 or 2 hurricane. As the name suggests, a bomb can come with wind speeds of more than 40 mph.

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