Weather Words



“That was some storm,” was the consensus among those shoveling and blowing snow from their driveways and cars in my neighborhood yesterday.   It had a winter storm name, Jonas, but mostly we called it a blizzard.

In 1983 there was a Megalopolitan Storm in NJ.   Because the national weather service wasn’t naming winter storms back then there’s little other frame of reference but as far as I know, it was the only Megalopolitan storm on record.

the February ’83 snowstorm was the biggest snowstorm of record in Philadelphia, eeking out the 21.0″ snowstorm that everyone remembers from Christmas 1909.

That was a written in 2010 in a “blast from the past” article about Philadelphia storms.   I don’t want to be adversarial but exactly who, in 2010, was part of the ‘everybody’ that remembers a blizzard from 1909?   Hmmm.

In 2014 we had a fabulous snow storm that was called a  bombogenesis?    Like the Megalopolitan of 1983 it had no other name .  If you paid attention in 9th grade English you know that the word means “bomb” for explosive, and “genesis” for beginning.    I also heard it called an Exploding NorEaster but in 2014 a Philadelphia meteorologist  used the word bombogenesis in a weather report and since then the term is not so uncommon here on the east coast.

Somebody needs to think up a term for the surge of shopping that comes before a storm.    There must be some measurable atmospheric pressure changes in the supermarket right before the wind kicks up.   This is one of my favorite reactions to a weather forecast gone wonky  Crazy Weather Map


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