What Is A Bomb Cyclone And How Can You Help Those Affected Most On The East Coast

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What is a bomb cyclone? The storm is expected to impact most of the East Coast.

What is a bomb cyclone?

While it may sound like a spell ripped straight out of Dungeons and Dragons, a bomb cyclone is actually a very real weather phenomenon and it's expected to hit a majority of the East Coast on January 4, 2018.

Honestly, I thought "arctic blast" sounded scary enough, but now meteorologists gotta throw a "bomb" in their terminology too?

While "bomb cyclone" does sound terrifying, and it has already affected the south, with Florida, Georgia and South Carolina seeing a rare show of ice and snow, the seriousness of the storm is still unknown -- besides the upcoming frigid temperatures and sub-zero wind chills that put many at risk.

So, what is a bomb cyclone? It occurs when a strong low-pressure system rapidly intensifies. "Bomb cyclone" comes from the scientific term "bombogenesis," which is a storm that drops 24 millibars of pressure over 24 hours.

Researchers are worried that winter storm Grayson's pressure levels could be on the same level as Hurricane Sandy.

Thanks climate change.

Already the storm is breaking substantial records.

For instance, this is the first time in 28 years that Tallahassee, Florida has had measurable snow.

It was also one of the heaviest one-day snowfalls on record in both Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.

No matter how much snow falls, one thing is certain: it will be brutally cold. There will hurricane-force winds as well as temperatures dropping 20 to 40 degrees below normal.

How can I help people affected by the bomb cyclone?

People who are at risk of going without heat, or are experiencing homelessness, this drop in temperature has the potential to be fatal. Here's how you can help people going through the bomb cyclone.

While there is a lack of statistics of how many homeless die due to freezing in America, it should be noted that it happens quite often, even in warmer climates. For example, in 2013 seven homeless people died in California when the temperature in the Bay Area dropped to near freezing.

Thankfully, many east coast cities are opening their shelters for those in needs, but there are ways we can help.


Call 311 to help people find shelter.

In New York City, Chicago, Boston, DC, and Balitmore you can call 311 to get service for anyone who may help finding shelter.

Many other cities offer this service:

Philadelphia: 215-232-1984 Pittsburgh: 412-779-1329 Minneapolis: 612-879-7624 Detroit: 1-800-274-3583 St. Louis/Kansas City: 211

If the person may need medical assistance, dial 911.


Donate to a food bank in your area.

Food banks provide food to many Americans, including children, and their resources will be depleting during storms such as Grayson. You can find your local food bank here.


Donate to your local homeless shelter.

Shelters will be staying open longer to help protect the vulnerable from the cold during the bomb cyclone, and they will be much more full because of the temperatures.

Reach out to your local homeless shelter and ask what they may need from money, to coats, to canned foods.

As always, make sure you're prepared.

Stock up on food, put gas in your car, have fresh water saved, and bring your pets inside.

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