Media: Where did “Bomb Cyclone” come from?

Media: Where did “Bomb Cyclone” come from?

I live in the Pacific Northwest, on the west coast. In recent days, the media has fallen in love with the scary terminology “bomb cyclone”. (The purpose of media is to be scary!)

Where did this term come from?

The once-obscure piece of meteorological jargon entered the popular lexicon this week as a monster storm, set to pummel the East Coast on Wednesday night into Thursday, formed over the Atlantic Ocean. “Bomb cyclone” surged in popularity after The Washington Post published an article Tuesday afternoon comparing the storm to a winter hurricane, warning that winds could reach 70 mph in some parts of New England.

A bomb occurs when an extratropical surface cyclone undergoes “bombogenesis,” meaning the central pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours. As pressure decreases, the storm’s strength intensifies. The name describes the topography of a weather map during such a cyclone. In a high-pressure system, the isobar lines are far apart. But when the pressure suddenly plummets in the middle of a cyclone, the lines are close together, indicating a deep depression.

Source: This Is The Man To Blame For The Term ‘Bomb Cyclone’ | HuffPost Impact

Rather than reporting that a strong winter storm is approaching, the media now says a Bomb Cyclone is forecast which is far scarier sounding than just a storm.

The Weather Channel started naming Winter storms – to link winter storms, in our minds, with hurricanes.

It’s as if the media wants you to think every weather event is going to be the worst ever.

Since most of us have no idea what the term “bomb cyclone” means or where it came from, the end result is less public understanding – other than, be scared! Which is not actually helpful.

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