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Bomb cyclone: Parts of US may get colder than Mars in coming days

The phenomenon, caused by the collision of hot and cold currents, has brought rare snow to southern US, including parts of Florida. The country is already reeling under a spell of extremely cold weather with the incursion of chilly arctic winds this winter.

world Updated: Jan 04, 2018 15:52 IST
Malavika Vyawahare
Malavika Vyawahare
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bomb cyclone,United States,US
Snow covers cars along a street as snow and cold weather blanket Savannah, Georgia, on Thursday.(AFP photo)

The east coast of the US is bracing for a ‘bomb cyclone’, a term used by meteorologists to describe an explosive deepening of atmospheric temperature.

The phenomenon that occurs when two currents – one cold and the other hot – collide has brought rare snow to southern US, including parts of Florida. It will feed into the already icy temperatures in the north. Some news channels in the US speculated that parts of northern US might experience temperatures colder than Mars. Over the next 24 hours, the atmospheric pressure is likely to drop by about 24 millibars – the unit for measuring barometric temperature.

A bomb cyclone is not the same as a winter hurricane because it does not gather as much strength, forming and dissipating on a much faster level. However, it does cause blizzard-like conditions.

The country is already reeling under a spell of extremely cold weather with the incursion of chilly arctic winds this winter.

The weather conditions spurred US President Donald Trump to ridicule climate change measures again. “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” he tweeted.

The jibe invited a storm of criticism from climate experts, who clarified that weather was not the same as climate. Although the mercury dropped below average levels in the US this winter, annual temperatures across the country as well as the globe have been above normal.

So, those complaining about flight cancellations due to fog in northern India can draw some solace from the condition of their American counterparts. The US could see over 2,500 cancellations on account of the looming storm.

But will India face a similar situation in the future? Mahesh Palawat of private forecasting service SkyMet Weather does not think so. “The drop in pressure is caused due to the polar jet stream, a cold wind system, colliding with the jet stream,” he says. “This does not happen in India because cold Siberian winds rarely make their way here. They are blocked by the Himalayas.”

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 12:02 IST