'Bombogenesis': Northeast Blizzard Will Be Fueled Dramatic Pressure Drop

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

While millions of Americans gear up for likely historic snowfall this week, they should also prepare for a blizzard of the latest meteorological buzzword: bombogenesis. In simple terms, bombogenesis is the equivalent of a "meteorological bomb," according to The Weather Channel's Kevin Roth. It occurs when a storm's area of lowest pressure experiences a rapid drop of more than 24 milibars in 24 hours. "This turns a routine storm into an intense storm very quickly," Roth told NBC News.

While not uncommon for this time of year, a period of bombogenesis between midday Monday and midday Tuesday could trigger record snow. More than two feet of snow is expected to bring "paralyzing, crippling" conditions for a 250-mile stretch from Philadelphia, through New York and Boston to northern New England. "This storm has a bundle of energy," Roth said. When bombogenesis starts to happen, coupled with the cold air over the U.S. hitting the warm Gulf Stream, "that's when the show will really begin," he added.



- Alexander Smith