What is a bomb cyclone? Weather event to bring mix of rain, snow to NJ this weekend

·2 min read

If you thought spring was around the corner, this weekend begs to differ. More snow is in the forecast for North Jersey with March evidently still in its lion phase.

Starting late Friday night rain is set to fall across the northeast and could eventually turn into snow thanks to a quickly intensifying low pressure system, known as a "bomb cyclone," National Weather Service Brookhaven meteorologist Matthew Wunsch said.

"That word [bomb cyclone] has a certain connotation with it, where people hear it and think major winter storm," Wunsch said. "But for our area... we'll likely see more rain."

What is a bomb cyclone?

A bomb cyclone, which occurs through the process known as bombogenesis, is basically a winter hurricane.

A bomb cyclone "occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies," or quickly drops in atmospheric pressure, marking the strengthening of the storm, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,

Bombogenesis is said to occur when a storm's central barometric pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. A millibar is a way of measuring pressure. The lower the pressure, the more powerful the storm.

How bomb cyclones form.
How bomb cyclones form.

Some storms have intensified as rapidly as 60 millibars in 24 hours. A few bomb cyclones even develop "eyes," similar to the center of a hurricane.

- Doyle Rice of USA TODAY wrote this section. Find his full story here.

What is 'bombogenesis'?

The word "bombogenesis" is a combination of cyclogenesis, which describes the formation of a cyclone or storm, and bomb, which is, well, pretty self-explanatory.

- Doyle Rice of USA TODAY wrote this section. Find his full story here.

Other facts about bomb cyclones

  • Bomb cyclones have cold air fronts

  • Bomb cyclones form during winter

  • Bomb cyclones form at higher latitudes

- Doyle Rice of USA TODAY wrote this section. Find his full story here.

What is the weather in NJ for this weekend?

Windchill forecast for this weekend
Windchill forecast for this weekend

The rain will likely turn into snow sometime Saturday and should stop later that evening. The wintery mix follows a similar one that fell throughout Wednesday. That winter weather followed higher temperatures earlier in the week.

More: How much snow is falling on North Jersey? Updated totals from the bomb cylone

But there is good news. Currently, the forecast is only predicting a maximum of 2 inches, with most of the snow in North Jersey set to fall in western Morris and Sussex counties. In Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties, the snowfall is supposed to be minimal. However, as the storm gets closer, the forecast could change if the storm approaches the coast.

Death of the snow day?: NJ lawmakers consider letting schools go remote for bad weather

Liam Quinn is a breaking news reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Email: quinnl@northjersey.com

Twitter: @Liam_D_Quinn

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: What is a bomb cyclone? NJ weather forecast includes snow