Weekend Bombogenesis?

The American Meteorological Society’s Glossary of Meteorology defines a meteorological “bomb” as: bomb—An extratropical surface cyclone with a central pressure that falls on the average at least 1 mb per hour for 24 hours. In other words, a rapidly intensifying low pressure system that seems to explode on the weather charts! “Bombs” in the mid Atlantic region are primarily coastal nor’easters that form as cold, polar air and strong upper level winds interact with the warmer, moist air over the ocean. For several computer model cycles, a “bomb” has been forecast to develop this weekend. A look at the forecast maps from NOAA’s Global Forecast System model shows a low pressure system over North Carolina with a central pressure near 1002 mb Saturday night. “Bombogenesis (the creation of bomb) is then forecast with this system as it races up the coast to a position off the coast of Maine with a central pressure of 978 mb late Sunday night. Without a deep arctic air mass in place, the strong northeast winds generated by the intensifying storm will likely pull warmer air farther inland, creating a wind swept rain for many areas along or east of I-95. Farther west, however, this storm may produce some heavy snow. If this track and intensity forecast verify, Baltimore may see a period of snow and sleet before the change to rain Saturday night. Cold air and gusty winds on the backside of the storm could change the rain back to snow Sunday morning. In the mountains of western Maryland this storm could easily dump 15” of snow. Rain or snow, this looks to be the first “Bomb” of the winter of ’07-’08! Stay tuned to WBAL-TV 11 , WeatherPlus on WBAL-DT 11-2 or here no wbaltv.com for updates as the storm approaches.

Tom Tasselmyer

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