Brace Yourselves for Impact! ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Expected To Hit Us Soon.
You read that headline correctly. A “bomb cyclone”, or “bombogenesis”, is projected to impact Philadelphia with radically cold temperatures, dangerous gusts of wind, and plenty of snow. Here’s what you need to know, and what precautions you should take in case the meteorology reports are on target.
Don’t panic... too much.
Though a “bomb cyclone” seems like major cause for alarm, this winter storm isn’t as menacing as the moniker suggests.
That doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t err on the side of caution, though, for “Grayson” will be a hurricane unlike any other in our nation’s meteorological history.
Indeed, it already has:
RARE SIGHT: it's snowing in Tallahassee FL for the 1st time in 28 years. @NWSTallahassee measured 0.1" of snow/sleet on their roof @floridastate at 8:30 AM. Video via 904 Happy Hour. #snow #flwx#frozenAmerica pic.twitter.com/dG5uMrTcpM
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) January 3, 2018
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) January 3, 2018
Even in Georgia, things aren’t peachy.
Savannah has gotten six inches of snow, officially making Grayson the most intense winter storm to impact the state.
Another unlikely state to either enjoy or bemoan the weather conditions (depends on who you ask, their age, and whether or not school was cancelled for them), was Florida.Tallahassee hadn’t gotten snow in 28 years, but the third day of 2018 changed that.
Grayson will be doing a grand road trip of the Eastern coastline, making pit-stops in Charlotte, Atlantic City, Boston, and Augusta. Canada won’t be spared either.
This new year is already bringing in the same shock-factor that was so common in its predecessor, and this time, it’s coming in with the force of blustering winds and a smothering hostile chill.
Weather Underground and similar outlets have already begun documenting the damage. So far, there have been 12 Grayson-related deaths (primarily wrought by subzero temperatures), and 100,000 people have lost power. Airlines have shut down, and are frantically refunding tickets or evacuating stranded travelers.
Winter Wonderland this is not.
According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, bombogenesis or bomb cyclones form when a “midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone.”
In layman terms, this will be a s**tstorm of unpleasant conditions.
It all starts tonight.
Philadelphia’s experience will likely include anywhere between 3 to 7 inches of snow, 50 mph winds, and ice. There will be poor visibility, slippery roads, power outages, and dangerously frigid lows in the single digits well into Sunday.
We’ve been more accustomed to hearing this winter hurricane phenomenon referred to as a Nor’easter, but clickbait and fear mongering is more feasible when you throw around meteorological terms with the word bomb in them.
So, Philly, we got this! We've done it before, we'll do it again!
But, taking Grayson seriously by implementing appropriate safety measures is still necessary.
Preparedness resources and timely facts can be found on The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management page, and you can sign up for text alerts on the ReadyPhiladelphia portal.
Information on school closings have not been posted yet but should become readily available online soon.
Following basic hurricane (or blizzard, given your perspective) protocol is wise. Ready.gov has some great tips for storms like Grayson and other emergencies. Even plans to keep your pets safe in cases of extreme weather exist!
Finally, multiple accounts have shared on Twitter infographics on hypothermia and frostbite prevention after The National Weather Service warned of these being potential consequences throughout the bombogenesis:
Bundle up, and remember to keep your health and the wellbeing of your fellow Philadelphians a priority during this trying time!