Bomb cyclone dresses Northeast in snow

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News


99.1% of northeastern U.S. is now covered in snow following Thursday and Friday’s snowstorm, according to the National Weather Service. The massive storm, predicted to be the first bomb cyclone of 2022, impacted a huge swath of the northeast and eastern coast. It’s also the second largest snowstorm to strike the northeast in a week.

Snow fell in Tennessee beginning on Thursday and traveled up the country into Maine before the bomb cyclone finished venting its fury on the northeast on Friday. A bomb cyclone, perhaps better thought of as a snowy hurricane, is a weather phenomenon where the barometric pressure plummets 24 millibars within 24 hours. This creates heavy precipitation, powerful gusts of wind, and often brings below-freezing temperatures.

“This will be a disruptive storm, and since cold air will be preceding the storm, snow will accumulate on roads as soon as it starts,” AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno warned ahead of the storm.

Although the storm did prove to be disruptive, it left the northeast coast covered in a spectacular blanket of snow, as seen in the satellite footage provided by the National Weather Service.

New York received some of the heaviest snowfall from the storm, with the National Weather Service reporting that the Cheektowaga area received 18” of snowfall and the Buffalo/Lancaster area received 15” by 6 pm on Thursday.

Tennessee, meanwhile, saw its snowiest day on Thursday since receiving 8 inches on Jan. 22, 2016, according to Accuweather. Gallatin, Tennessee reported an equal amount to the National Weather Service.

Besides tying previous snowfall records, Tennessee reported some of the strongest disruptions from the storms with multiple car wrecks. One accident fatality involving a commercial vehicle was reported near the Kentucky border of the state on Interstate 24.

Virginia, still struggling to recover from the snowstorm earlier in the week, had 100,000 homes already without power when Thursday’s bomb cyclone struck. This prompted Governor Ralph Northam to declare a state of emergency and formally ask assistance from the Virginia National Guard before the fresh snow began. He said, “These back-to-back storms will generate landmark winter weather that requires extra flexibility, particularly as many continue to deal with power outages.”

Despite this fear, the storm appears not to have resulted in further calamity for the state. Other states impacted, like Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, have only reported normal disruptions to car traveling and canceled school services.

While the storms may have been disruptive and potentially deadly for many, one industry is thankful for the opportunity to operate under normal conditions. Last weeks’ warmer weather had paused operations for many ski resorts in West Virginia.

“West Virginia can’t wait to welcome travelers to our snow-capped mountains this winter,” said Chelsea Ruby, secretary of the state’s Department of Tourism, in anticipation of the storm. Mill Creek received the most snowfall for the state from the storm with 14.5 inches.