What is a ‘bomb cyclone?’ Monster storm to blast East Coast

2:23 p.m Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 Homepage

A forceful mix of snow, ice, strong winds and tidal flooding is expected to blast much of the East Coast this week, according to the National Weather Service.

» RELATED: State of emergency declared for coastal Georgia ahead of winter storm

Meteorologists warned a “bomb cyclone,” expected to strike Thursday, will likely result in 6 to 12 inches of snow in New England, accompanied by 40- to 60-mph winds as the massive winter hurricane heads north.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency Tuesday for 28 Georgia counties ahead of the storm. The National Weather Service expects a nasty mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow in Florida and Georgia.

» RELATED: Parts of Georgia starting to see snow

As of Wednesday, at least 11 people in the U.S. have died due to the freezing weather, CNN reported.

What is a bomb cyclone anyway?

A bomb cyclone is a result of bombogenesis, the term used to describe a winter hurricane, or “a midlatitude cyclone that rapidly intensifies” due to its low-pressure system, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

» RELATED: Winter weather watch, warning and advisory: What’s the difference?

“This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters,” the NOAA website states. “The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone.”

During bombogenesis, the storm drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, producing a bomb cyclone. 

This week, the arctic blast from bombogenesis is likely to result in high winds, heavy snow and bitter cold weather along the East Coast.

More about Atlanta’s weather forecast at AJC.com/weather.

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