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‘Bomb Cyclone’ Whips Through The West As Winter Storms Snarl Thanksgiving Travel

By Rachel Brooks

Thanksgiving weather conditions prove brutal in the Western United States. A bomb cyclone has torn through that region, ravaging highways where holiday commuters are in active pursuit of festivity destinations. 
The storm in question is known as an “Explosive cyclogenesis” or “bomb cyclone”. Citing USA Today, it has generated uncommonly violent weather conditions throughout the West Coast. Snow and rain pelt the far-to-midwest regions.

Citing ABC 10 Weather, the bomb cyclone will bring wave systems up to 35 feet, with winds clocking 75mph. The pressure will continue to develop at what forecasts are calling a “deepening low” meaning the pressure is forming at the cyclone’s base. If the pressure rises, but doesn’t, quote “fill in very quickly” that storm will continue to intensify. 

This is being chased by heavy rain systems in the Sierra Nevada and surrounding areas. There have also been severe thunderstorms in locales such as Yuba City, California. Rain systems from the cyclonic activity will alleviate what is known as fire weather in the region. California has suffered repeat seasons of severe wildfire due to a vast region of deadwood, drought, and other corresponding factors. 

Screencapture of Daniel Swain’s status update, Weather West, Twitter

How does a bomb cyclone form? Citing NBC Bay Area, a bomb cyclone is “a rapid intensification” of cyclonic activity. Also citing NBC Bay area, the internal pressure of the November 26 bomb cyclone formation is the highest-ranking storm to ever touch the West coast. The current storm’s pressure has been measured as of yesterday at 975 millibars. The smaller this millibar number is the greater the pressure of the storm. The old record was 978 millibars set in 2010. The millibar count dropped 24 bars in 24 hours, which, citing the National Weather Service in Sacramento, is the qualifying marker of “bombogenesis” or a bomb cyclone’s identifying criterion. 

On the Northwest coast, thousands are left without power for the holiday, citing North Coast Journal. North Coast Journal is quoting Samantha Karges, a spokesperson with the Humbolt County, CA Sheriff’s Office. No severe infrastructure damages have been reported at this time. Yet, there was some damage to powerlines as a result of trees felled by harsh winds. There were also dozens of accidents created by the winter storm front. 

Screencapture of CBS SF’s hi-def doppler forecast for the morning hail/thunder front 

The Wednesday Morning Weather Forecast with Mary Lee, KPIX CBS SF, has also stated there were pea-sized hail fronts in the Sacramento area and lightning strikes outside San Mateo. 

Approximately, 2 hours ago, a stretch of I-5 at the Oregon border was reported shut down citing KGW News. Some commercial truck drivers have been sitting in their trucks, as well as holiday travelers, since last night around 10 pm PST. ODOT has been working with Cal-Trans to alleviate the situation. California has reported US 97 S closed near the Dorris Agricultural Station. 

Travelers are urged not to use GPS to travel around the road closures. US Interstates are the most maintained roads in the continent. If they are impassable, then traveling on state highways may be a fatal mistake.

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