We love social media, don’t we? An easy way to access all types of information; the good, the bad, the true/false, the funny viral videos… etc. Whatever it is that you’re looking for – you’ll likely be able to find it on Twitter or Facebook. Last night, you may have found the hashtag #BombCyclone trending on Twitter – for everyone who was referencing our powerful nor’easter we experienced today. I briefly mentioned this “bomb” in my blog last night – but I still thing it’s worth revisiting…
The “bomb” part of #BombCyclone comes from the word “bombogenesis.” This is not a new idea… in fact, during most of the Storm Force coverage I’ve done here at 7News, I end up mentioning it when talking about storms just like this one we saw today. “Bombogenesis” was a term that was coined by a meteorologist from MIT named Fred Sanders, back in the ’80s. It’s a word that’s used to describe rapid intensification of a low pressure system – which must drop at least 24mb in 24 hrs. This particular storm system, it’s worth noting, almost doubled that rapid drop in pressure – falling about 50mb in 24 hours!! The “cyclone” part of #BombCyclone refers to the cyclonic wind flow (counter clockwise) of a low pressure system. So, you get “bomb” plus “cyclone” and you get a clever, trending hashtag… but it still sounds really scary, right?!
This #BombCyclone hashtag doesn’t mean this storm system is something new. It’s a nor’easter much like many of the nor’easters we see around this area. But with this storm, there were two things playing in its favor to make it so much more impactful: It intensified very rapidly – and it tracked very close to home (right near the 40/70 benchmark). This brought us more snow and stronger wind than it would have if its track had been some 50 to 100 miles east.
Also, the timing was perfectly terrible for this storm – all things lining up just right to lead to crippling coastal flooding. We talked a lot about the full moon on New Year’s Day, so astronomical tides were high – AND high tide came around the height of the storm. The storm can churn up the ocean, the moon pulls the ocean levels up, and the wind pushes that high water toward the coastline… You no doubt saw some of the flooding that was happening today:
In fact, the National Weather Service reported that many of us saw historical coastal flooding today. Remember the Blizzard of ’78? Today’s water level at high tide (12:36pm) in Boston Harbor was very close to the water levels during the Blizzard of ’78:
Now, onto snow and crazy, wild wind! As always, thank you for all of your pictures and reports! Thank goodness for social media, right?! :c) We won’t have “end of event” totals until after the storm wraps up (maybe 7-9pm tonight), but here’s a decent starting point, as of 3pm today:
We’ll be done with the snow from this #BombCyclone between 7-9pm tonight, but then it becomes all about the cold. You’ve heard J.R. and Wren say it several times today: It’s not going to be fun or easy to shovel tomorrow… not because the snow will be tough to move – but because it will BE TOUGH TO MOVE, or think, or work outside. The wind is still with us (though not as powerful as today), and the cold comes back in with a vengeance tonight to settle in for the weekend. There is a Wind Chill Watch that is posted across the Bay State through Saturday afternoon. It’s likely this will soon be upgraded to a Wind Chill Advisory – and perhaps a Wind Chill Warning for some inland locations for wind chills down to -25 to -35° on Saturday morning:
So, the snow we picked up today won’t be going anywhere over the weekend – and those of us that venture outside will ask “why does the air hurt my face?” The light at the end of the tunnel is that temperatures will begin to moderate at the beginning of next week… and perhaps we can get some “above average” temps in here by the middle of January. That would be a change of pace. Stay safe and stay warm. – Breezy