Northeast Braces for Possible 'Bomb Cyclone'

Some areas could see double-digit snowfall levels in area's first major snowstorm of the season
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2020 6:30 AM CST
'Bomb Cyclone' Seems Like the Next Logical Step for 2020
A springtime snowstorm created challenging driving conditions on April 9, 2020, in Freeport, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The Northeast's first major snowstorm of the season is set to blanket multiple states over the weekend, with strong winds, anticipated snowfall in the double digits, heavy rains, and power outages in some areas. The weather event may even turn into a "bomb cyclone," which occurs when a storm system's pressure drops 24 millibars within 24 hours—the path that this storm appears to be heading in, the Washington Post reports. Most of the storm will pummel states in New England—including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine—on Saturday, with some lingering snow falling in northern Maine on Sunday. Snow may fall up to 2 inches an hour in some parts, with more than a foot predicted in isolated areas, per CNN. Heavy, wet snow could accumulate on tree branches and power lines, yanking them down.

The Weather Channel notes the storm, which it has dubbed Winter Storm Eartha, is the result of two jet streams that joined together, setting in motion the "bombogenesis" that could pull the weather system into "bomb cyclone" territory. The Post notes it's a "tricky forecast," as the unpredictability of the rain-snow line means it's not clear yet which areas will get hit with snow and which will simply be drenched by rain. The mid-Atlantic is also set to see effects of this storm, with heavy rainfall hitting Saturday just east of New York City, Baltimore, Philly, and DC. Warnings of wind gusts of more than 50mph Saturday and Saturday evening have been issued for Long Island, southeast Massachusetts (including Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard), and along the Maine coastline. (More nor'easter stories.)

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