A bomb cyclone: How dangerous is it? And what happens during a bomb cyclone?
CNN’s Max Foster talked to meteorologist Tom Niziol about how this storm will impact you, and also asked him how often such storms are actually named.
On Monday, August 27, Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Irma merged to form a dangerous bomb cyclone that will likely grow into a Category 4 storm before it hits the U.S. mainland later this week.
Michael Mann is a hurricane researcher at Pennsylvania State University, and he’s not a fan of this particular hurricane named storm.
“I do not recommend using these name storms to provide hurricane forecasting during the seasons,” he told CNN on Monday. “They are just absolutely artificial replacements for natural storms.”
In its current form, the storm has the potential to generate dangerous winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge before making landfall, and is expected to weaken while it moves closer to the U.S.
In a calm storm, a bomb cyclone can generate powerful winds and flooding, but the hurricane season isn’t a perfect storm for this kind of system.
“Most storms that occur during the hurricane season, this kind of is not a good system to use,” Mann said. “There aren’t great tropical cyclone characteristics, and there isn’t a lot of thunderstorm shear to reduce the tropical cyclone upwelling, the winds that help to maintain the tropical cyclone.”
“And so, they’re not very favorable for these storms. And that’s not going to work well, and you’ll have problems.”
The storm may also make storm surge worse because it will bring an immense amount of water in low-lying regions.
Just before the last hurricane season began in June, the Center for Research on the Influences of Hurricanes on Urban Change, a research organization affiliated with Columbia University, released a study that found Hurricane Irene, which hit the East Coast in 2011, likely caused more than $7 billion in property damage along that stretch of coastline, but ultimately saved hundreds of lives because it forced residents to evacuate.
The lessons learned from Irene should not be forgotten. But for now, the official advice for people in the path of Hurricane Harvey is that they listen to local authorities.
The storm is expected to bring high winds, heavy rain and storm surge to Texas.