(KRON) — Terms like “bomb cyclone” and “atmospheric river” have become well-known across the Bay Area as storm after storm has pounded the region.
Yet another round of rain and heavy winds hit the Bay Area on Tuesday, causing power outages and fallen trees across the region. But does this storm qualify as a bomb cyclone?
No, according to KRON4 Meteorologist Brittany Begley.
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“At first glance – it looks like one on radar, but technically it wasn’t because the barometric pressure must drop by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours,” Begley said.
Begley explains that a bomb cyclone is a low-pressure system that experiences a rapid fall in pressure.
“Basically an intense storm where the pressure drops bringing high winds, lowered temperatures and storms,” she said.
Bomb cyclones are often associated with atmospheric rivers. An atmospheric river is a string of clouds that can stretch hundreds of miles and carry a massive amount of water.
“A ‘bomb cyclone’ refers directly to the rate of strengthening, not necessarily to its absolute strength. It has been found that the presence of nearby atmospheric rivers can actually enhance the rate of strengthening of low-pressure systems,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA.
Regardless of what the storm is labeled as, it is wreaking havoc across the Bay Area. There have been fatalities as trees have fallen on vehicles in San Mateo County and Walnut Creek. Winds even sent a couch flying through the sky in San Francisco.