A deadly bomb cyclone could strike more than 50 million people. What You Need to Know?

This week, a powerful winter storm with potentially "life-threatening" conditions is expected to sweep over the United States, posing a threat to millions of people's travel plans ahead of the Christmas. Forecasts foretell significant snowfall, arctic winds, and extremely low temperatures. Over 50 million Americans are subject to wind chill advisories, watches, and warnings as well as cautions about winter storms.

Time is running out to be ready for a sizable blizzard that will affect sections of the middle of the country by the end of the week, jeopardising travel plans for the holidays and Christmas.

Large swaths of the Plains and Rockies were already under the influence of the intense snowstorm on Wednesday. Travel is likely to be severely disrupted as dangerous and life-threatening circumstances develop when the storm intensifies into a potent blizzard over the Midwest on Thursday and Friday. This is because of the storm's strong winds, heavy snowfall, and soaring temperatures.

bomb cyclone

What is happening?

Temperatures are plummeting as a front of arctic cold air moves south.

According to Bob Oravec, chief forecaster for the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, much of the United States will experience temperatures that are below average through the middle and end of the week.

The National Weather Service forecasts that temperatures might plummet by more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) in just a few hours.

Additionally, with winds also predicted to increase, wind chill temperatures may reach dangerously low levels well below zero, which is enough to induce frostbite in minutes. The wind chill could drop as low as - 70 degrees Fahrenheit in certain areas of the Plains (minus 57 Celsius).

This winter storm's arrival at the worst possible time, when millions of people are rushing to finish their shopping or leave on vacation. According to the American Automobile Association, 112.7 million people are anticipated to travel more than 50 miles from home between December 23 and January 2. (AAA).

Snow fell in locations like Seattle and Spokane, Washington, when the storm initially brought wintry weather to the Northwest on Monday night and Tuesday. The storm will strengthen more and more as it goes east.

What is a bomb cyclone ?

A storm is referred to as a bomb cyclone when it strengthens quickly and its central air pressure drops by at least 24 millibars in a 24-hour period.

As a result of the explosive power brought on by the sudden drop in pressure, they are also known as bomb cyclones.

Such storms provide a variety of weather, including blizzards, violent thunderstorms, and significant precipitation.

The east coasts of the US and Canada are where bomb cyclones most frequently occur because the region's chilly terrain and warm Gulf Stream current are ideal.

Who will suffer from this?

Nearly two-thirds of the country, or everyone east of the Rockies, will see extreme weather in the coming days, according to Ryan Maue, a private meteorologist in the Atlanta region.

The Arctic front is anticipated to travel east and south all the way through Florida, protecting much of the West Coast from the cold.

The worst of the storm will be where?

The Midwest may experience blizzard-like conditions due to the snow and strong gusts, especially near the Great Lakes. Weather conditions are unpredictable because of the Northern Plains' extreme cold and the arctic cold front that is pushing it. If the storm intensifies quickly enough and the barometric pressure drops far enough, it will meet the criteria for a "bomb cyclone," which rarely develops on land.

The cold will be one of the major effects of the storm and its aftermath, according to Grushiak. It's likely to be one of the coldest Christmases ever in several regions, according to forecasters.

The wind chill may be as low as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the Dakotas, Montana, and Minnesota, while it may be as low as negative 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Wyoming. If the prediction for Friday calls for a low of minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit, Denver may have its coldest day in 32 years.

Warming centres are opening in certain towns, including Portland, Oregon, Buffalo, New York, and Cincinnati, Ohio, to provide unhoused persons with temporary emergency shelter during the storm.

The storm will probably move out of eastern Canada by Saturday, but it could still have an impact on Christmas Day with more snow and wind. According to the National Weather Service, significant wind chill can result in frostbite in as little as five minutes and will make the temperature feel considerably colder.

Where will they probably occur this weekend?

Temperature reductions of tens of degrees per minute are happening in various locations across the northern Rockies, northern Plains, and upper Midwest.

According to the National Weather Service, the abnormally cold airmass is forecast to affect at least 24 other states along the Gulf Coast and in the east of the country, bringing some coastal flooding and flash-freeze conditions on roads throughout the central and southern plains.