3 Winter Words You Should Know
“Bombo”-what? Bombogenesis. It’s not a word you expect to hear from your local meteorologist. So what is it exactly? And what’s with the mishmash of strange weather vernacular over the past few months?
On Tuesday, meteorologist John Bolaris at Philly.com was the first to use the term “bombogenesis” to describe the large, fast-moving snowstorm that was heading toward the East Coast. NPR journalist Mark Memmott noticed the unusual word and wrote his own article called “What Is This Bombogenesis And Why Is It Dumping Snow On Us?” Memmott’s story went viral and brought national attention to the word.
But these two writers were not the first to use this term and other terms that have been popularized this winter.
The odd collection of weather words used in the media—such as “polar vortex”—are actually advanced technical terminologies for specific weather conditions. “Polar vortex” describes a wind pattern over the North and South Poles. “Bombogenesis” is a slang word used by meteorologists to describe a winter storm that forms quickly.
Why haven’t we heard these words before? According to Chris Vaccaro, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service, meteorologists are using these terms to describe weather conditions in areas that don’t typically see such events; the use of these words is then accelerated through social media.
“As a result of social media, these terms are picked up and spread much further,” said Vaccaro. “Now there are more voices to amplify our weather words.”
Read the full story here.