By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) — You may have heard the term thrown around on your local weathercast lately. . . “bombogenesis.”

Sounds like a great way to hype up a storm, right? Brings back memories of the dreaded “polar vortex” or “snowmageddon.” Bombogenesis is, in fact, a real meteorological term, and Thursday’s storm will fit the bill perfectly.

The official definition:

Bombogenesis occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system creates what is known as a “bomb cyclone.”

2018 bombogenesis What Is Bombogenesis? Everything You Need To Know About This Blizzards Buzzword

(WBZ-TV graphic)

What do you need to get bombogenesis? Typically, a dramatic interaction or clash of airmasses (warm and cold) and it almost always happens over the milder ocean waters which supply the fuel for the storm to “take off.”

2018 bombogenesis2 What Is Bombogenesis? Everything You Need To Know About This Blizzards Buzzword

(WBZ-TV graphic)

How often does it happen? Typically only a few times per year. The last one that comes to memory was the October 29-30th rain and wind storm that postponed Halloween in many towns. Then there was the March 14th snowstorm from last winter as well as the big snow event in mid-February. When it happens close to our coastline, you know it. It almost always means a big precipitation and wind event.

Check out the forecast central pressures (in millibars) for Thursday’s blizzard. . . classic bombogenesis!
Wednesday Noon: 1008mb
Wednesday 7 p.m.: 996mb (drop of 12mb)
Thursday 1 a.m.: 984mb (drop of 24mb BINGO!)
Thursday 7 a.m.: 968mb (total drop of 40mb and a whopping 16mb drop in just 6 hours!)
Thursday Noon: 960mb (total drop of 48mb in 24 hours…WOW!)

So, the next time you hear one of the WBZ-TV meteorologists use the term bombogenesis, make sure you pay extra attention, a big storm is likely on the way!

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ.

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