Meteorological “bomb” threatens eastern New England, Canadian Maritimes
24 March, 2014
A modest storm that will bring some light rain and snow to the Mid-Atlantic will transform into the most intense cyclone off the East Coast since Superstorm Sandy. Between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, the storm is forecast to strengthen explosively or undergo what meteorologists call “bombogenesis.”
To promote the rapid strengthening (or deepening) of surface low pressure, we need air to rise up from the ground. How does that happen? Well, one way is thanks to zones of stronger wind, called “jet streaks,” many thousands of feet above the ground. If positioned correctly, they create a relative void of air aloft, forcing air from below to rise and fill it back up (think of it as the atmosphere’s vacuum). This helps low pressure form closer to the ground.
Another important ingredient is a strong change (or gradient) in temperature across the developing low pressure. As the low “spins up,” it can pump warmer air to its north and east, and pull in colder air from the west and down to the south. This makes the gradient even stronger, which energizes the overall system even more. The whole process feeds into itself and causes rapid strengthening of the low pressure
CONFIDENCE IS RELATIVELY HIGH FOR HIGH IMPACT OVER THE CAPE AND ISLANDS AND FOR RELATIVELY LOW IMPACT ACROSS SOUTHWEST NEW HAMPSHIRE…NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT AND MASSACHUSETTS NORTH AND WEST OF WORCESTER. CONFIDENCE IS CONSIDERABLY LESS IN THE GRADIENT REGION IN BETWEEN.
[THE FIRST CAMP] SPELLS A POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT FOR EASTERN ZONES. THE SECOND CAMP … SUGGESTS THAT THE TRI-STATE [NY/PA/NJ] WILL RECEIVE AT MOST A GLANCING BLOW…AND THERE IS SOME CHANCE THAT AREAS NW OF NYC COULD EXPERIENCE LITTLE IF NO IMPACT.
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