Bomb Cyclone Hit the U.S. East Coast

Photo Credit - New York Times
It's often said that the local weather on the U.S. East Coast is always treated as national news.   It may seem easy to think that this current storm is another instance of that norm.    That would be wrong in this case - this storm is different.   It's not the snow, it will be the wind and flooding.  Bombogenesis is the technical term used by meteorologists that is characterized by rapidly dropping atmospheric pressure.  In addition to the wind, the storm surge is already causing flooding concerns as these pictures show.   Both #bombcylone and #bombogensis are trending on twitter.

It's hard to do anything other than to wish the best for all involved so there aren't really two sides to pick for this story.    However, since New York and Boston are frequent sports rivals, we will use reports from those two cities for our side by side presentation.

‘Bomb Cyclone’: Snow and Bitter Cold Blast the Northeast


In Boston, one of the highest tides on record flooded a subway station near the New England Aquarium. Pipes cracked from New Jersey to North Carolina. Even Florida’s iguanas found themselves stunned by the cold.

From the Spanish moss-canopied sidewalks of Savannah, Ga., to icy villages in coastal Maine, emergency officials reckoned with the rages, whims and remains of a storm that shut down schools for more than a million children, flooded roadways, filled homeless shelters and forced the cancellations of thousands of flights.

Yet the storm, notable for a steep drop in atmospheric pressure that prompted some forecasters to describe it as a “bomb cyclone,” was but one act in a prolonged run of misery that had already enveloped millions of people in a wintry torment of Arctic air and snow-blown streets.  <more>

Are these Boston’s highest tides in history?


As Thursday’s nor’easter raged on, it quickly became clear that the flooding was the biggest issue, with storm surge battering the Massachusetts coastline.

When high tide hit around 12:45 p.m. Thursday, it appeared that Boston Harbor saw its greatest tide swell since at least the Blizzard of 1978 and possibly since 1921. (The NOAA will have to confirm those numbers, but they’re within a few tenths of an inch). This is a remarkable statistic considering all the nor’easters that have happened in the four decades since.

Tide predictions are somewhat difficult and because the storm grew so large, so fast, I suspect that this was underpredicted. This means you can expect to see lots more images of flooded shore roads up and down the coast as many locations continue to experience major flooding. <more>


  1. In a letter from Congressman Nolan (D, MN 8th), he points out that "in DC, it's called a 'bomb cyclone', but in Minnesota we call it 'Thursday'." which drew a big smile from this NJ resident.

    1. :-) A similar thought from from me -- "It's often said that the local weather on the U.S. East Coast is always treated as national news".