According to experts in the sky – or at least those looking at the sky – Winter Storm Stella could potentially undergo #bombogenesis, which is a pretty scary sounding term. It's used to describe a powerful low-pressure system that can develop and intensify quickly. And it happened in the California storms last month, where the term became common usage in the media.

So what is it?

The activity of bombogenesis begins with something called cyclogenesis, which is the development or rapidly focusing dance of an area of low pressure, whic can also be known in weather talk as a trough.

This known 'boming out' of the central department of a low-pressure system will need to happen within a very firm 24 hour period – and it needs to drop by 24 millibars for it to earn its bomb-tastic name.

#Bombogenesis happens when this large temperature gradient takes place, usually in between a cold and often continental air mass and also the warmth of the sea surface nearby.

It can also take place when a cold and icy polar air mass hits the much warmer air from the south, as often happens over the Plains states. With that temperature disparity, a potent, escalating jet stream disturbance can create air to rise and thus begins the dramatic process.