Bombogenesis Replaces Polar Vortex as Snowy Weather Word of the Week

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 06:09 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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The word “bombogenesis” hit the Internet like a, well, bomb this last week to describe the weather phenomenon that brought another blast of arctic cold to much of the United States, but many online are rolling their eyes at another new weather term few have ever heard.

USA Today explained the etymology of the word bombogenesis. It evolved from the 1940s when some meteorologists called a few storms “bombs” because they developed so ferociously.

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Then “bombs” somehow became combined with cyclogeneis, which is the process that forms a cyclone, USA Today said.

A bombogenesis, meteorologist Jeff Haby told USA Today, occurs between a cold continental air mass and warm oceans.

Online, the emergence of this word wasn’t universally accepted.

The East Coast storm that brought much of the area to cold, icy halt caused this unusual weather term to surge in use. Some were more amused than irritated.

An NPR article about the term pulled in some interesting comments too. Most were from people who thought such terms were needlessly creating drama.

Wrote one commenter about the article’s headline: "'What Is This Bombogenesis...?'
What used to be called a Nor'Easter. Why are we making such a big deal about it?
'... And Why Is It Dumping Snow On Us?' Because we are currently in that part of the year known as winter. Is this a serious question????”

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