Northeaster bomb cyclone

This is an example where it might be useful to look at upper air charts.


Don’t know if it’s technically cut-off low or not but the upper air shows why the surface low will tend to meander. It also helps to watch the TV news and that was the explanation they gave.

Also - been discussed here before but the term Nor’easter is an abomination

. “Now hear this!” the card began. “The use of nor’easter to describe a northeast storm is a pretentious and altogether lamentable affectation, the odious, even loathsome, practice of landlubbers who would be seen as salty as the sea itself.”

From BDN

Why some people think the term ‘nor’easter’ should be permanently retired

edit: I’d better change the title.

If the young lady from Bangor went down to the coast she would probably hear it being referred to as a nor eastah, at least downeast of the midcoast.

That is odd considering that the term has been used by New Englanders since the late 1700s or early 1800s and refers to NE winds which in that skinny part of the country could only originate offshore above that salty stuff where the codfish lived.

The recent appendage of “bomb” to every other storm strikes me as a bit pretentious, right up there with the weather channel naming every wind or snow storm.


Every adult on the east coast with clue knows what a nor’easter is. Term has been used forever and everybody pretty much knows what it means and what’s going to happen along the coast.

But yes please stop referring to every damn storm as “bomb” this or that. It’s stupid, annoying, and has reached a point where it’s a nonsense phrase.


Late 1700’s, that’s about when my family settled in Maine.

Where the hell would “nor” have come from? In Maine that ‘r’ would be dropped. A NE wind would be a nawth eastah. If it was clipped maybe naw eastah.

Blowin’ nawth east heah right now. Friggin’ powah just come back on.

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Here is the NWS Glossary:


A strong low pressure system that affects the Mid Atlantic and New England States. It can form over land or over the coastal waters. These winter weather events are notorious for producing heavy snow, rain, and tremendous waves that crash onto Atlantic beaches, often causing beach erosion and structural damage. Wind gusts associated with these storms can exceed hurricane force in intensity. A nor’easter gets its name from the continuously strong northeasterly winds blowing in from the ocean ahead of the storm and over the coastal areas.


Popular expression of a rapid intensification of a cyclone (low pressure) with surface pressure expected to fall by at least 24 millibars in 24 hour.

Anyway, more seriously wrt terminology:

Seems like I"m seeing stuff like this more often:

a tropical-like structure w/warm-core & an eye

So yes, “Bomb”- an alarmist way of over-emphasizing a strong storm.

Similar to the alarmist habit of taking ungranted authority to “name” every winter storm so that fools can stand in the snow declaring on TV how awful it is to incite panic buying and increase ratings.

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Some have been calling those “winter hurricanes” for some time, and as noted above, some are even naming them.

That started circa 1985 with Hurricane Gloria with a recurring guest on Nightline warning that the storm would hit with the force of an early atomic bomb.

Seems like the terms tropical, extratropical, mid-latitude wrt weather systems are not really always clear-cut. I wonder if the reason we see attempts at more precision is because of better data now?

As far as the term “bomb”, that term did originate in the meteorology community:


By defining a “bomb” as an extratropical surface cyclone whose central pressure fall averages at least 1 mb h−1 for 24 h, we have studied this explosive cyclogenesis in the Northern Hemisphere during the period September 1976–May 1979. This predominantly maritime, cold-season event is usually found ∼400 n mi downstream from a mobile 500 mb trough, within or poleward of the maximum westerlies, and within or ahead of the planetary-scale troughs.

From this 1980 paper:

Perhaps the storm will “bomb out” or “undergo bombogenesis” or some other nonsense. Either way, bread and milk will be purchased. :roll_eyes:

Subtropical Storm Wanda has formed over the central North Atlantic within a larger extratropical low that drifted south over warmer water. Satellite intensity estimates are in the 40-50 kt range, and the intensity is set at 45 kt. The extratropical low was the same storm that raked the coast of New England October 26-27th. Currently Wanda is moving towards the southeast and will likely strengthen some during the next 24 hours. After about 48 hr, gradual weakening is expected as Wanda moves over colder waters.