“Bombogenesis”, “bomb cyclone”: new words for a new reality

A Nor’easter / Wikimedia Commons

It’s not just any old Nor’easter heading towards America’s east coast today. It’s a “bomb cyclone,” folks. That’s another name for a word that most of the world has learned in the last 48 hours. Mashable first coined the phrase “bomb cyclone” as a more punchy  synonym for the meteorological term bombogenesis. But what the nor’easter is a bombogenesis?

“Bombogenesis”: Rapid, or extreme cyclogenesis, often characterized by a barometric pressure drop of 24 millibars in a 24 hour period. (Wiktionary)

As meteorologist Stu Ostro explains on Weather.com, “bombogenesis follows from cyclogenesis, which refers to the development of a cyclone (which, in turn, is usually synonymous with a low pressure system, or low).”

Wikipedia explains that “explosive cyclogenesis” (also referred to as a “weather bomb”, “meteorological bomb”, “explosive development”, or “bombogenesis”) refers in a strict sense to a rapidly deepening extratropical cyclonic low-pressure area.

Needless to say, none of these words (at least not bombogenesis or bomb cycle) can be found in any official dictionary. Who wants to bet that bombogenesis will be entering the dictionary before 2018 is out, as we face our new earthly reality?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.