What is Bombogenesis? (Download PDF)


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Bombogenesis is a popular term that describes a mid-latitude cyclone that rapidly intensifies. It means rapidly deepening extra tropical cyclonic low-pressure area. Other names for Bombogenesis: Explosive cyclogenesis.

Image of Bombogenesis

Image of Bombogenesis

Image of Bombogenesis

  • Weather bomb

  • Meteorological bomb

  • Explosive development

  • Bomb cyclone

Key Characteristic of Bombogenesis

  • Bombogenesis refers to a rapidly intensifying area of low pressure.

  • The central pressure of a low-pressure system must drop at least 24 millibars within 24 hours.

    What Will Happen when a Place Undergoes Bombogenesis?

    The place will experience:

    • Dramatic increase in winds

    • Increase in precipitation

    • Intense snow fall

    • Lightning

    • Blizzard conditions

    Since the system in bombing out, the place will experience the above conditions.

    Active Areas of Bombogenesis

  • Northwest Pacific

  • North Atlantic

  • Southwest Pacific

  • South Atlantic.

Process of Bombogenesis Occur?

  • Under a large temperature gradient, usually between a cold continental air mass and warm sea-surface temperatures or the product of a cold polar air mass and much warmer air from the south

  • When there is a temperature contrast (like the above two given conditions), a powerful, intensifying jet-stream disturbance triggers air to rise and kicking off the bombogenesis process.

    When Did Bombogenesis Occur Recently?

  • Winter Storm Mars underwent bombogenesis in February 2016, dropped 25 millibars in only 18 hours.

  • Winter Storm Iola exhibited bombogenesis in January 2015, dropped 29 millibars in 21 hours.

  • Winter Storm Nemo showed bombogenesis in February 2013, dropped 29 millibars within a span of 24 hours.

  • An example of bombogenesis over land was the “Octobomb” that affected portions of the Plains and Midwest United States on Oct. 25 - 27,2010. All-time record low barometric pressure readings were set by this system in states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

- Published/Last Modified on: February 4, 2018

Environment/Ecology, Geography

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