A ‘Bomb Cyclone’ is Headed to Denver – Will It Be as Bad as the One We Had in 2019?

By Shawn Patrick on January 10, 2024
(Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The last time I remember hearing the words “bomb cyclone” in Denver was in March of 2019, and that storm ended up being one of the most brutal I can remember as a native Coloradan. Guess what? We’re about to have another… 

According to the New York Times, a Bomb Cyclone is a storm that can form when a mass of low-pressure air meets a high-pressure mass. The air flows from high pressure to low, creating winds. What defines a bomb cyclone is how rapidly the pressure drops in the low-pressure mass — by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. This quickly increases the pressure difference, or gradient, between the two air masses, making the winds stronger. 

Our friends at 9News say a fierce winter weather pattern developing for the next seven days will include a possible bomb cyclone followed by a polar vortex. The strong winds are from a storm system that’s starting to take shape over the Rocky Mountain region. The overall impacts to the Front Range will be minimal with this storm: As the storm system strengthens on Thursday (Jan. 10), it will bring moderate snowfall to the nearby mountains and maybe a dusting of snow on a few parts of the Front Range on Thursday morning, but the storm is forecast to become a powerful cyclone as it moves into the states east of Colorado.

In other words, this bomb cyclone may not even happen in Colorado, and if it does, it should be much less impactful that the one I mentioned in 2019. 


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