What is a bomb cyclone?
The term bomb cyclone is short for bombogenesis, which is another meteorological phrase for a fast-moving storm with rapid winds, generally at or near hurricane strength.
What is a bomb cyclone? Bombogenesis means a storm is rapidly increasing in intensity. A bomb cyclone occurs when a major storm has experienced a rapid increase in wind speed (to 74 miles per hour, for example) or when the storm’s pressure drops 24 millibars within 24 hours. Very weak storms can have a significant change in intensity. * * * The term must be used loosely — a bomb cyclone is only considered to be a bomb when the storm becomes very strong, and its winds are strong enough to cause damage and cause significant physical hardships. Will it be a hurricane? The NWS has divided hurricanes into two classes. A “major hurricane” means at least Category 3 or 4, with sustained winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. A “major hurricane” category also includes storms with very strong winds. A “sub-major hurricane” means at least Category 2. A “sub-major hurricane” category is significantly weaker than the top three categories. A storm that is classified as a major hurricane does not have a specified shelf life.
National Weather Service