Da Bomb

January 4th, 2018 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

GOES-16 image of the intense extra-tropical cyclone at 8:45 EST January 4, 2018.

The rapidly intensifying non-tropical cyclone producing heavy snow and blizzard conditions over the mid-Atlantic and New England is meeting expectations, with localized snowfalls of over 6 inches already this morning.

The latest NAM model forecast of additional snowfall after 7 a.m. this morning until tomorrow morning shows up to 12-18 inches of snow over portions of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine (graphic courtesy of Weatherbell.com):

Maximum additional snow accumulations from 7 a.m. Thursday Jan. 4 to 7 a.m. Friday, from the NAM weather forecast model.

As of 9 a.m. EST, all 5 NWS reporting stations in Rhode Island have heavy snow falling.

The term “bomb” was coined by meteorologist Fred Sanders in 1980 to refer to a non-tropical low pressure area that intensifies at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. They happen every year, and are usually centered offshore in the winter where cold continental air masses meet warm oceanic air masses, providing maximum energy to the intensification process.

140 Responses to “Da Bomb”

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  1. Still to low for coastel CT which will get well over a foot.

  2. Joe Bastardi is one of the few that called this storm pretty good.

  3. Stevek says:

    Dr. Spencer I was wondering what you thought of new study showing ocean temperatures for the entire ocean have rose 0.1 degrees celcius in last 50 years. Would you expect this temperature change ?

    • well, I’m not aware of a “new” study, but the warming of the oceans since the 50s has been known for many years. The rate of warming varies greatly with depth (more in the upper layers) and the total warming is around half of would be expected if the climate models are, on average, correct. I think the validity of the deep-ocean warming is susect…it’s a tiny signal, and the deep oceans have only been reasonably well sampled for the last 12 years or so.

  4. ren says:

    Low he will direct the Arctic air to the eastern US.
    This one low in the north-west Atlantic promises to change weather in Europe. In the far north high pressure will dominate.

    • ren says:

      “This new wave of cold air will be about 5-10 degrees lower than the one that froze the Northeast during the final few days of December and start of January, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.”

    • ren says:

      The pressure difference is huge, which is why the wind will be strong.

  5. ren says:

    The pattern of the polar vortex in the lower stratosphere does not change.
    The temperature in the lower stratosphere has dropped sharply.

  6. ren says:

    The animation shows how low moves north along the coast and pulls cold air in the southeast US.

    • E. Swanson says:

      ren, We know from physics that a gas can not “pull” or “draw” the cold air into the area of lower pressure as only pressure forcing is possible. Gravity does the “pulling’, which moves the densest air to the bottom of the ocean of gas we call the atmosphere.

      Consider the classic example of sucking a liquid from a cup thru a straw into your mouth. Sucking on the straw creates a lower absolute pressure in your mouth and the static pressure of the atmosphere pushes the liquid up the straw for you to enjoy. It’s amazing how many meteorologist (including those who work for the NYT, the WaPo and the Weather Channel) get this wrong when they pontificate about storms.

      The southward flow of cold air from the Arctic meets with the northward flow of warmer air and the storms form along the boundary. The flows are the result of the massive transfer of energy from the tropics toward the poles and the cold, dry, dense air is the return portion of the circulation loop.

      • spalding craft says:

        Nice description.

      • Ric Werme says:

        All true, but I’m still happy to call it pulling. Even though ropes are better at pulling and really lousy at pushing. 🙂

        OTOH, if you want to sell me a rope for three times less than Roy would, you might have a deal!

      • Geoff Wood says:

        Except that you cannot replace pull or draw with an analogy that sucks!
        You have to increase the volume in your mouth or lungs against external pressure to produce the lower pressure that causes the pressure gradient that overcomes gravity as a net force to push the liquid up the straw:-)

        • John says:

          An increase, or decrease in the volume in your mouth produces the suction, or draw?

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Hi John, we are saying that with a gas there is no such thing as pull or draw or suction. The gas (or liquid] moves down the pressure gradient unless opposed by an equal or greater other force, like gravity perhaps.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Also, a decrease in the volume of the air in your body increases the pressure above external air pressure and so the gas moves out of your mouth or nose towards the lower pressure.

          • John says:

            Yes, but the increase in pressure comes externally (from the muscles), decreasing the volume in the mouth and decreasing the internal pressure, effectively pulling the air/substance up the straw.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            John, think of an internal combustion engine. The piston moves down as the inlet valve opens. This increases the volume of the chamber and reduces the internal pressure. As a random process the higher external pressure molecules preferentially work their way in through the valve against those attempting to leave. The molecules in a gas have no mechanism to pull on each other. They are not electrically charged and their associated gravity is effectively zero. They move randomly but predictably down gradients of number density at rates set by mean kinetic energy. They can only transfer energy and information by impulse as they collide. This impulse is always a push not a pull. Liquids do have some weak bonding forces and so one molecule moving away does exert a draw on its immediate neighbours. The action of pressure of a gas upon a liquid is one of absolute positive pressure by collisional impulse. This pressured containment of a gas or solid container is the only thing that keeps liquids from becoming gases.
            You used the term effectively pulling (text editor is eating quotation marks!) which is exactly what this pedantic rant is about. The effects are easily confused wth a pull or a draw or suction, but these mechanisms are physically unavailable to a low temperature gas with small masses.

            Back more on topic, teleconnected, small absolute pressure differences transmitted molecule to molecule by collision at the speed of sound set air masses in motion down the pressure gradient in a manner that attempts to reduce the gradient. Gradients being responsible for all spontaneous exchanges.

  7. ren says:

    This is the current circulation over North America.

  8. RW says:


    Tell me about it. I’m home from work in a blizzard that was only supposed to be not more than 6 inches 18 hours ago. I live in central NJ on the coast. We’re predicted to get up to 18 inches here.

  9. Darwin Wyatt says:

    Obviously (following the logic of the alarmists) the beginning of cooling for the entire planet! Uh oh! Start hoarding. Rice beans make a complete protein. Just saying. hashtag100,000yearsofice.

  10. ren says:

    The temperature drops very strongly over the Great Lakes.

  11. ren says:

    The temperature on the Peninsula of Michigan.

  12. ren says:

    Crane Lake, Minnesota

    Current Conditions – C As of 1:52 AM on Friday 5 Jan 2018 (Local Time)
    M Cloudy Mostly Cloudy
    Feels Like: -36
    Wind Chill: -36 Ceiling: 5730.2
    Heat Index: -36 Visibility: 16.09k
    Dew Point: -39 Wind: 0kph
    Humidity: 80% Direction: 220SW
    Pressure: 1036.91mbar Gusts: NA

  13. professorP says:

    Ren’s new record: 63% of comments so far.

  14. ren says:

    Frozen Boston. Temperature -12 C and will drop.

  15. ren says:

    In 5 days there is a chance to increase the temperature in the US and fall in Europe.

  16. Frank says:

    Roy: Santer (2005) claimed to show that short term changes in Ts are amplified in the upper tropical troposphere (T2). He actually merely showed that the standard deviation of T2 was 1.3-1.5 bigger than Ts. Given that Ts is in contact with an ocean of high heat capacity, this finding has been misinterpreted. I can only find three temperature changes (without volcanos perturbing T2) in his [smoothed] data large enough to measure, two with significant amplification and one without. You have occasionally posted graphs here comparing changes in T2 to Ts. To my eye, the recent El Nino looks very different than the 97/8 one in this regard, but I am not looking at data from the tropics. There are some other strong signals since Santer’s work. I would be interested in anything you might post.

    There may be some big game here. The absence of amplified warming on decadal time scales is already a major problem, but everyone believes the MALR is in control on shorter time scales and Santer (2005) is a key reference. The importance of the ocean at minimizing the variability in Ts compared with T2 could be assessed by looking at the zonal variation in this ratio. Models presumably don’t predict much amplification outside the tropics.

  17. Tim Wells says:

    I would love to see Al Gore explaining all the snow falling on the USA, didn’t he say it would be a thing of the past?

  18. ren says:

    Soon La Nińa will cut off the inflow of water vapor from the tropics to the north of the Atlantic.

  19. Layman says:

    Eyeballing the years covered in UAH record, I see about 1.4 total degrees warming anticipated for a century of duration. It looks like it is linear (or more specifically a combination of a linear trend with oscillations–PDO, etc.–which produces a step-up shape) and not accelerating.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      layman…”Eyeballing the years covered in UAH record, I see about 1.4 total degrees warming anticipated for a century of duration. It looks like it is linear…”

      It rises pre-1997 with a re-warming trend then flattens out for 18 years. The trend quoted of about 0.12C/decade is based on number crunching. It fails to acknowledge real, physical events like you have cited and perhaps mysterious events that are not yet understood.

  20. Layman says:

    Am I also right to think that periods of extensive (even record) cold and snow are to be expected in certain locations with a warmer climate: the warmth means more energy into the system thereby moving the cold air from the polar regions to a greater global extent? This makes sense to me anyway.

  21. ren says:

    Brainerd, Minnesota

    Current Conditions – C As of 11:38 AM on Friday 5 Jan 2018 (Local Time)
    P Cloudy Partly Cloudy
    Feels Like: -28
    Wind Chill: -28 Ceiling: NA
    Heat Index: -22 Visibility: 11.27k
    Dew Point: -27 Wind: 6kph
    Humidity: 80% Direction: 340NNW
    Pressure: 1038.61mbar Gusts: NA

  22. ren says:

    Probably in January, there will be more snowstorms on the east coast.

  23. John F. Hultquist says:

    The image of the storm also shows snow on the southeast coastal plain — from Georgia to the northeast until it is lost under the edge of the clouds.

  24. ren says:

    Perhaps it is worth seeing the polar vortex at the height of 45 km, at the top of the stratosphere?

  25. Crakar24 says:

    I understand prof, when you are watching your belief system circling the bowl all you have left is irrational sarcasm

    • ren says:

      Thanks. This is the case when there are no arguments.

    • professorP says:

      Don’t you get fed up sculling past all this gibberish?

      • David Appell says:

        I certainly do. ren is like a virus who comes into a cell and takes it over for his own purposes.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          DA…”I certainly do. ren is like a virus who comes into a cell and takes it over for his own purposes”.

          As one of my Scottish compatriots once claimed about people like you:

          O wad some Power the giftie gie us
          To see oursels as ithers see us!
          …Robert Burns

          Loosely translated:

          Oh, would some power the gift to give us,
          To see ourselves as others see us.

          He was speaking to a louse.

          I don’t regard ren as anyone other than someone who is genuinely trying to share good, on-topic information. Why he irks you is a mystery.

          Could it be that the real world weather he provides contradicts your AGW version of the world?

  26. professorP says:

    30-day average SOI index has fallen from +11 to -4.
    What’s it to be? The end of La Nina?

  27. ren says:

    The impact of the weather in the United States has both the state of the stratospheric polar vortex and La Nia.

  28. ren says:

    Low temperature in the south-eastern Pacific enables continuous high pressure. So the wind blows west.

  29. ren says:

    High pressure is visible in the south-eastern Pacific.

  30. CO2isLife says:

    Climate Crisis? Al Gore and Michael Mann Fail Science 101

    In this post I will address Michael Manns assertion that record cold temperatures are the result of man-made CO2 as detailed in a recent Climate Reality Project article, mentioned by Al Gore in his Tweet. Before I go any further, without addressing any of his claims, the important take home is that even if Al Gore and Michael Mann are 100% correct in their analysis and conclusion, the solutions they offer will only make matters worse.

    If CO2 causes more draught, biofuels like Ethanol are idiotic solutions as best.
    If CO2 causes more rain, then solar is an idiotic solution at best.


  31. ren says:

    Extremely low minimum temperatures in the east US.

    • E. Swanson says:

      ren, those temperatures are in Celsius, not Fahrenheit. I live in the middle of your map at 3,000 ft elevation and my morning low was 1.6 F. Not so unusual for this time of the year…

  32. ren says:

    Minimum temperatures in the south of the US.

  33. ren says:

    In the center of the high pressure the pressure reaches almost 1040 mbar.

    Erie, Illinois

    Current Conditions – C As of 6:50 AM on Saturday 6 Jan 2018 (Local Time)
    View 1 Active Weather Alert
    P Cloudy Partly Cloudy
    Feels Like: -26
    Wind Chill: -26 Ceiling: NA
    Heat Index: -26 Visibility: 16.09k
    Dew Point: -29 Wind: 5kph
    Humidity: 73% Direction: 310NW
    Pressure: 1038.94mbar Gusts: NA
    Raw METAR from closest station (KCWI):

  34. ren says:

    Solar activity falls. The solar wind speed is extremely low.
    The jet stream will fall far to the south.

  35. CO2isLife says:

    Climate Change Double Standard Double Speak Proves Slimate Clience is a Fraud

    Climate Expert Al Gore then Tweeted about Climate Guru Michael Manns new article about how the record cold is in fact evidence and the expected outcome of global warming, sorry climate change. I cover that article in another post. Liberals didnt attack Al Gore or Michael Mann, they just believe it when Al says it, and dont believe it when President Trump says it. They are like unthinking Pod People, blindly obeying a central authority, never really thinking about their actions, they just follow instructions.

    • Stevek says:

      I think the extremes of both sides being given the loudest voices is not good for science. Unfortunately with the media the most extreme voices are given the most air time.

  36. RAH says:

    Got in from the road early this Saturday morning and was curious what the conditions were at the summit of Mt. Washington. Went to the official weather observatory site and these were the conditions.

    Current conditions:
    Summit Conditions
    Temperature -32F
    Gust 102 mph
    Wind 90 mph
    Wind Chill -85F
    Direction 290(WNW)
    Last Updated Saturday, January 6 2018 3:06 AM

    The summit of that mountain is subject to radical changes in weather/temperature at about any time since the jet stream tends to dip down over it. It really is a pretty amazing place and especially so because as mountains go, it’s really just a baby.

  37. Smart Texan says:

    It was one heck of a storm. That is for sure. Joe Bastardi, Dr. Roy Spencer, and a few others covered the storm really well with no hype. I am glad winter has made a comeback this season! 🙂

  38. ren says:

    What will happen now with the stratospheric polar vortex?
    1. A weak solar wind increases the galactic radiance.
    2. Galactic radiation is focused on magnetic poles.
    3. Cosmic radiation breaks down the ozone particles.
    4. Magnetic field in the Arctic regions. In fact, there are now two maxima, one over central Canada, the other over Siberia.
    As a result, the stratospheric polar vortex will form two centers – one over Canada, the other over Siberia.

  39. ren says:

    The temperature in the morning in New York.

  40. ren says:

    Very high pressure on the US east coast to 1038 mbar.

  41. ren says:

    Currently, the magnetic activity of the Sun is minimal.

  42. ren says:

    Strong snowfall on the Erie and Ontario lakes.

  43. ren says:

    The great snowstorm is moving northeast US.

  44. ren says:

    In the following days, high pressure over Scandinavia will strengthen. In the US, temporary warming.

  45. ren says:

    Increase in solar wind speed and geomagent activity. The power of the jet stream will increase.

  46. ren says:

    Extremely low temperatures in the Canadian province of Ontario.

  47. ren says:

    First rain, then freezing rain, then snowstorm and frost in the northeast of the US and Canada.

  48. jeffbirman says:

    Wow, she is one of the most beautiful girls I have seen

  49. ren says:

    The magnetic activity of the Sun since 2015 was quite high for this solar cycle. It particularly increased in September 2017. This allowed La Nińa to develop and activate hurricanes. In December 2017, a large drop is already visible. This activity was mainly associated with coronal holes. Coronal holes in front of Earth send fast streams of solar wind.

  50. ren says:

    The minimum temperature in North America on 01.19.2018.

  51. ren says:

    The extent of snow cover in North America has reached the upper level of normal.

  52. ren says:

    The polar vortex is a little stronger. It becomes more compact. This will allow the inflow of warm air to the south of the USA.

  53. ren says:

    Low that will form in the central US will bring heavy snowfall on its northern and western sides.

  54. ren says:

    In North America low that which brings snow on the west side, it will move towards the Great Lakes.

  55. ren says:

    Earthquake 7.9 on the Richter scale off the coast of Alaska.

  56. ren says:

    In North America, the temperature returns to normal.

  57. ren says:

    At the beginning of February 2018 the temperature in central North America may drop as many a dozen degrees C below normal.

  58. ren says:

    The frost returns to eastern Canada and northeast US.

  59. ren says:

    Nińo 3,4
    2017 -0.34 -0.01 -0.09 0.22 0.30 0.22 0.22 -0.18 -0.56 -0.52 -0.84 -99.99

    5N-5S 170W-120W
    Anomaly from 1951-2000

  60. ren says:

    The forecast for January 28 is very winter for North America. High pressure in the center will pull arctic air, and low in the east means snow.

  61. ren says:

    What temperature will be in North America at the beginning of February 2018?

  62. ren says:

    Monthly Nio-3.4 index
    2017 1 26.12 26.45 -0.33
    2017 2 26.68 26.66 0.02
    2017 3 27.33 27.21 0.12
    2017 4 28.04 27.73 0.30
    2017 5 28.30 27.85 0.45
    2017 6 28.06 27.65 0.41
    2017 7 27.54 27.26 0.28
    2017 8 26.70 26.91 -0.21
    2017 9 26.29 26.80 -0.51
    2017 10 26.15 26.75 -0.60
    2017 11 25.74 26.75 -1.01
    2017 12 25.62 26.65 -1.03

  63. ren says:

    Americans get ready for the polar vortex.

  64. ren says:

    Volcano Mayon has been under Alert Level 4signifying that a hazardous eruption is imminent, possibly within dayssince Monday.

  65. ren says:

    Let’s analyze the current polar vortex pattern in the lower stratosphere. Please see that in the west the isobars from the Western Arctic reach the north of the USA. That is why the Arctic air already starts to reach to the Northen USA. The circulation in the stratosphere has an impact on the jet stream. The difference between these levels is 100 hPa. However, the high speed of wind in the polar vortex and the stability of the circulation pattern in the stratosphere force the circulation in the tropopause. In the tropopause, the influence of water vapor (warmer air) is mixed with the influence of stratospheric ozone. Ozone particles are heavier than air and they fall from the upper layers of the stratosphere near the polar circle. Water vapor as lighter than air rises to the tropopause above the equator.

  66. ren says:

    Arctic Blast is coming to the Great Lake.