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Bomb Cyclone Riley

What the *#$@# was that storm?

Hi readers! I hope most of you have weathered the recent winter storm Riley reasonably well, and that for most people, power is now back on to your homes and businesses. If you are like most of us, you could be wondering, what WAS that? How did it create so much damage? And if you are a scientist living in an affected area, you may also be wondering, What does science say about this?

This was a bomb cyclone, the second for our region this season, which basically means a storm that drops severely in pressure over a relatively short time period. Low air pressure means a bigger storm, because of the bigger differences between air pressure in the storm system and regular air pressure. These air pressure differences cause monstrous winds, which is what was responsible for knocking down so many power lines and trees.

Also, this storm was particularly bad because it was slow moving, which meant that it stuck around for a while. This fact, combined with the full moon which meant already high tides, is what was responsible for the severe flooding that resulted.

Finally, note that downed power lines are extremely dangerous. Restoring power takes time. Please be patient, readers! We’re rooting for everyone to be back to full power and with minimal property damage as soon as possible.

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