METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Bombogenesis is cyclogenesis taken to the extreme. Bombogenesis is defined as a mid-latitude cyclone that
surface barometric pressure by 24 or more millibars in a 24-hour period. The
height contours pack
around the center of rotation and the number of height contours increases rapidly in the developing stages.
The most common time of the year for bombogenesis to occur is in the cool season (October to March) when
temperature gradient is large between the high and mid-latitudes. Bombogenesis typically occurs between
a cold continental
air mass and warm ocean waters or between a cold polar air mass and a much warmer air mass.
Many Nor-easters are the product of bombs. The contrast in temperature between polar air spilling over the
eastern U.S. and the warm Gulf Stream waters sets the stage for cyclogenesis on the boundary between these
air masses. Sometimes bombs will develop in the central U.S. between the boundary of polar air and more
tropical air. Cyclogenesis that results in bombs requires strong divergence aloft. This divergence aloft
is supplied by a strong
jet streak diving into the trough axis aloft from the developing low pressure. The
momentum of the jet streak and the dynamics in the left front quadrant of the jet streak cause a rapid
evacuation of mass above the region of cyclogenesis.
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