The new year has certainly started with a blast…of arctic air.

From Maine to Florida, Americans are trying to fight off the effects of a “bomb cyclone”. The term has an interesting history, originating in the era of World War II meteorology.

Over the years, sudden, intense storms have sunk many ships in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

These storms are often mistaken for hurricanes because they an spawn 74 mph and faster, hurricane force winds.

In the 1940s some meteorologists began informally calling some of these storms “bombs” because they develop “with a ferocity we rarely, if ever, see over land,” said Fred Sanders, a retired MIT professor, who brought the term into common usage by describing them in a 1980 article in the Monthly Weather Review.

…Today, a bomb cyclone is an extratropical area of low pressure in which the central barometric pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. Some storms have intensified as rapidly as 60 millibars in a 24 hour period. A few bomb cyclones even develop “eyes”, similar to the center of a hurricane.

Professor Jacobson had to shovel himself out of his Rhode Island home (featured image). But he is used to digging through a world of liberal snowflakes, so it didn’t slow him down much.

There are reports of massive flooding in Massachusetts:

Snow and icy conditions are being reported in many, unexpected place.

South Carolina:

Florida:

However, what is not unexpected are the assertions that this is all “climate change” caused by man.

In Scientific American, Jeff Masters, director of meteorology and co-founder of Weather Underground, addressed the question of whether the super-storm was a product…global warming.

We would expect it to be playing some role, since climate change is fundamentally affecting the atmosphere and changing the base state in which storms arise. So potentially you would have more moisture available to this storm, just because the oceans are hotter because of global warming—and that could potentially increase the impacts of a storm like this. There’s also some question about weather global warming might be affecting the jet stream, which is an important trigger for this storm.

One man, in particular, was singled out for blame.

Ultimately, I suspect the term “bomb cyclone” was assigned to this particular storm to add extra media drama and is being used as click-bait. The storm is actually a nor’easter, which is a regular weather scourge of the North East (though super-sized in this case).

A major nor’easter packed with powerful winds unloaded more than a foot of snow across the New York City area Thursday, bringing much of the region to a standstill.

The region has been gearing up for the storm for days, with cities and towns getting snow removal resources in place. And it didn’t disappoint, prompting school closures, mass transit delays, flight cancellations and treacherous driving conditions.

The storm prompted states of emergency to be issued for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as officials warned people to stay off the roads.

While I hope everyone stays safe and returns to the regular routine soon, I would like to see that plans are being made to prevent future cold-related power-outages and other weather-related problems. As I noted in a previous post, it is suspected that a decline in sunspots means a decline in solar activity.

The mini-ice age, which occurred well before extensive fossil fuel usage by man, occurred during a protracted period of no sun-spots. The number of sun-spot free days are anticipated to be increasing through 2018.

Brace yourselves: Winter is here, and won’t be leaving anytime soon.