The Truth About Bombogenesis

7pm weather observations

I just heard a loud clap of thunder here in Hamden. Thundersnow! This low is bombing out. Bombogenesis!

Bombogenesis really is a word! It describes the explosive growth of a low pressure system. We’re seeing it right now, especially in Eastern Connecticut.

Deb Drake @debirlfan @geofffox FYI, thundersnow in Quaker Hill. Scared the dog. 🙂

Thundersnow, a product of bombogenesis, was reported at Bridgeport, New Haven and New London between 6:30 and 7:30 PM EST. Yes, that’s very unusual. It’s also been reported at Marshfield, MA, Providence and Westerly, RI and on the Cape at Otis AFB.

Bombogenesis is an extreme example of cyclogenesis. I know, little help.

Cyclogenesis is the development or rapid intensification of a low pressure system. In New England we see this as winter lows hit the relatively mild waters of the Atlantic. If the cyclogenesis really goes nuts it’s bombogenesis!

This explosive development is seen as a rapid drop of the central barometric pressure.

Wind is reflective of a change in barometer over a given distance. The bigger the change over a given distance the stronger the wind. If the central pressure drops and everything else stay the same the pressure difference between two distant points (we call it pressure gradient or delta) will increase. So does the wind!

Over the rest of tonight, as the storm continues to ‘bomb’ we’ll see the pressure gradient increase. Even as the storm moves away from us this gradient will continue to deliver very strong winds. East of us, like the Massachusetts coast, the wind will be even stronger!

The rest of the forecast looks on target. We’ll be in-and-out of blizzard conditions throughout the overnight hours. Finally accumulations will be measured in feet across New England.

If you’re looking at weather observations and notice snow no longer being reported, sensors at a few airports have iced over and are out of service. This wasn’t a problem when humans did the observing.

Stay put and you should be OK. There will be power outages, but you’re better staying where you are than venturing out.

11 thoughts on “The Truth About Bombogenesis”

  1. We have almost 2 ft already in Stafford. I tried to head out to my mothers on the next street over and did not make it 100 ft. I could not see 2 ft in front of me. It is the worst I have ever seen in my life…

  2. One local station reported at 8PM that the winds should start to subside a bit after 11PM. What’s your take on that?

    And, really curious. National weather refers to this storm as Nemo. WFSB (who I think are very good, weatherwise) are calling it Charlotte. What gives?

    1. If I may interject, I looked it up. It all started in 1971 when Hilton Kaderli, Channel 3’s meteorologist, started naming the CT snowstorms independently from the rest of the area, especially if the National Weather Service doesn’t give it a name. I think the first rule was that the storm was supposed to drop at least 6 inches. Remember Storm Larry? Channel 3 was the only station that called it Larry. I read an article (which I can no longer find) that joked about Kaderli possibly naming the storms after people who worked on the crew in the newsroom. LOL!

  3. Good luck in your new endevors and I must say that I always enjoyed your forcasts when
    I lived in Bpt in the 20th century and meriden in the 21st . Now I watch ”weather nation” on OTA instead of constant CNN-hyped-up-weather newS . i’M SORRY THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE THIS TECHNOLOGY in the 60’s so I didn’t have to walk to school during 2 ft of snow and/or blizzards. My 3 in. of rain in my back yard is now your pain up in Maine. What goes around, comes around. [ did Gore say that?]

  4. i am in New London and the wind is HOWLING! The snow when it was heavy was very wet. The surface is frozen now though so difficult to walk in. Just saw two people pretend skating down the middle of the street while very fine powdery snow streams along the road edges. Amazing that people are out in this. It’s cold out there!

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