While Winter Storm warnings are nothing new for a large portion of states in the U.S., the term "Bomb Cyclone" is definitely something of a newer phrase. And yet, it is fast becoming a household word as winter storm Grayson dumps snow and frigid cold along the East Coast.

What is a bomb cyclone?

The scientific jargon explaining a bombogenesis, or bomb cyclone, is long and complicated, involving terms such as "millibars" and "atmospheric pressure". Janice Dean, the Senior Meteorologist at Fox News, has put it into more simple terms for those outside of the world of meteorology.

"In this case, with a nor'easter, the cold air from Canada combined with the warmer ocean waters of the gulf stream is what will trigger this explosive strengthening pattern."

Weather patterns do not often bring to mind the image of a bomb but, in this case, it is easy to see why it is so named.

Bomb cyclone sprays snow in southeast states.

Residents in the southeast states, who typically enjoy a much warmer climate, are finding their neighborhoods turned into winter wonderlands as the bomb cyclone rips through the area. The following tweet from January 3 depicts the snow storm over palm trees in Charleston, South Carolina, which are already weighted down by a substantial accumulation of precipitation. According to U.S. Climate Data, the average high for the city this time of year is a balmy 59 °.

The state of Massachusetts has seen its fair share of chaos, including the unfortunate record-breaking coastal flooding in Boston, beating out the flood from the Blizzard of 1978.

It is thought the severity of the flooding was brought about by the combination of three things:

  • Rising sea levels over the years
  • the supermoon
  • high winds from winter storm Grayson

This photo shows a frightening view of what easterners have endured this week.

Southeast not prepared for explosive bomb cyclone.

According to CNN, the Charleston airport was completely put out of commission after receiving five inches of snow and ice. The reason for this? The airport does not have the proper equipment to remove the ice and snow. Employees will need to wait for warmer weather to move in and melt the mess left by the bomb cyclone and winter storm Grayson before reopening to the public. The estimated date for flights to resume is Monday, January 8.

Though meteorologists are well-versed in the terminology of bomb cyclones and do not find them rare, mere citizens are hoping that winter storms such as Grayson will not become commonplace.