Large Pressure Drop Indicates a Bomb Cyclone

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Large Pressure Drop Indicates a Bomb Cyclone

One of the first weather oddities to hit the United States in 2018 was the bomb cyclone, or bombogenesis, as meteorologists call it. This type of winter storm with unusually low temperatures is indicated by a low pressure drop of at least 24 millibars (0.35 psi) in 24 hours. With normal pressures around 1000 millibars (14.7 psia) near sea level, this represents a 2.3% change from the normal reading.

In this year’s bomb cyclone, the pressure dropped by 54 millibars in 24 hours, more than twice the standard criteria, indicating a very strong storm. In fact, it was considered one of the greatest rapidly deepening rates ever observed by the National Weather Service.

With the continuous resolution capabilities of microelectromechanical (MEMS) pressure sensors, even the change of a few millibars can be easily observed with an absolute pressure sensor.

NOAA GOES-16 Weather Satellite

The 2018 bomb cyclone as observed from the GOES-16 weather satellite, which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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