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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An intense bomb cyclone is lashing a large section of the country from the Intermountain West to the Great Plains and Midwest. Hurricane-force wind gusts were reported on Wednesday from Dallas to Denver.
At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the roof was blown off an Amazon logistics facility into the parking lot and damaged multiple cars. At Denver International, a wind gust of 75 mph was reported while thundersnow rumbled the city’s western suburbs.
A bomb cyclone is a storm system, also known as a mid-latitude cyclone in weather speak, that has undergone bombogenesis — yes, that’s a real thing.
The strength of a storm system is measured by its minimum central pressure — that’s why you often hear talk of minimum pressure during hurricane coverage. Bombogenesis is the rapid deepening, i.e. strengthening of a storm system by the measure of its central pressure, with a drop of 24 millibars or more within 24 hours.
The bomb cyclone centered over eastern Colorado has dropped 33 millibars in the last 24 hours with a current central pressure of 975 mb, comparable to Category 2 Hurricane classification. Blizzard warnings are in effect from Colorado to Minnesota with high wind watches and warnings in effect from New Mexico to Ohio.
The bomb cyclone will approach the Delaware Valley in a weakened state on Friday, with the main energy ejecting off to the north prior to arrival. That said, the system will bring breezy rain and the chance for isolated thunderstorms to the area.