来源:voa 2019-03-06



What Is a 'Bomb Cyclone?'

This is Whats Trending Today

When it comes to weather, it is hard to sound more frightening than to call a storm abomb cyclone.”

But that is how weather experts are desCRIbing a huge winter storm that is hitting the U.S. East Coast this week.

From the northern state of Maine to Georgia in the south, the storm has brought high winds and heavy snow. Schools and government offices have closed because of the weather and thousands of flights have been cancelled.

But as fearsome as the storm is, it probably will not be asexplosiveas the name sounds.

Weather experts, or meteorologists, have used the termbombfor storms for many years. The word has a clear definition for weather experts, says University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Jason Furtado.

Afterbomb cycloneappeared in a Washington Post story this week, the weather term became popular, orblew up,” on social media. It became a top trending topic. The same thing happened four years ago with the phrasepolar vortex” -- another long-used weather term that was not well known to the public.


The technical term isBombogenesis.” Bomb cyclone is a shorter way of saying it, which is better for social media, says meteorologist Ryan Maue. He helped popularizepolar vortexin 2014.

Althoughbomb cyclonesounds bad, Maue notes, nothing will actually explode.

Storm strength is measured by central pressure. The lower the pressure, the stronger it is. A storm is considered abombwhen the pressure drops quickly -- at least 24 mililbars in 24 hours.

This weeks storm in the United States is expected to strengthen at two times that rate, says Bob Oravec. He is the lead forecaster at the National Weather Services Weather Prediction Center.

Around the world, about 40 to 50 bomb cyclones develop each year. However, most are over the open ocean and few people notice them.

We use the term bomb,” Furtado said. “We (weather experts) know what it means, but I do think it gets a little hyped up.”

Im Mario Ritter.

Ashley Thompson adapted this AP story for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.


Words in This Story

cyclonen. n extremely large, powerful, and destructive storm with very high winds that turn around an area of low pressure

mililbarsn. a unit used to measure atmospheric pressure

forecastern. a person whose job it is to predict something in the future, for example a weather forecaster

hyped upphrasal verb. to talk or write about something in a way to get people excited about it




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