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Posted: January 03, 2018

What is a Nor’easter and how does it form?

What Is A Nor'easter?

By Kirstie Zontini, WHIO.com

A powerful storm has issued winter weather advisories and storm warnings up the entire East Coast

“You might be seeing some pictures and videos of snow coming from Florida or Georgia,” Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini said.” Winter Storm Warnings blanket the East Coast all the way to the northeast where Blizzard Warnings have been issued for Maine and Massachusetts.” 

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This powerful type of winter storm is known as a Nor'easter, Zontini said. 

“A Nor'easter gets its name because the winds in the coastal part of the storm are typically moving from the northeast. These types of storms usually develop between September and April and can develop between Georgia and New Jersey,” Zontini said.

“The area of low pressure hugs the coast staying around 100 miles east or west of the east coastline. A Nor'easter will typically move northeast, continuing to strengthen, peaking near New England or eastern Canada,” according to Zontini.

RELATED: Tips, warning signs for frostbite, hypothermia

“Storms like this can go through what is called ‘bombogensis’ which is when a low pressure system rapidly intensifies, dropping 24 millibars or more in 24 hours.” 

RELATED: Lose power in the cold? Here’s what to do 

A Nor'easter usually produces heavy rain or snow and are also know for very strong wind gusts and dangerous surf. The big cities that can fall in the path of a Nor'easter include Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, Zontini said. 

“During the winter, these storms develop off the east coast because it is when the polar jet can dip south bringing very cold air to southern states,” Zontini said. 

“The warm Gulf stream waters hug the east coast and warm the air over the coastline. The cold land air spills then can move towards the relatively warmer air over the ocean and feed or enhance the development of theses low pressure systems.”

Some past Nor'Easters include the New England Blizzard of February 1978 and the March "Superstorm" of 1993.

What Is A Bomb Cyclone?


Related

Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

What is a Nor’easter and how does it form?

Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

What is a Nor’easter and how does it form?

Workers continue snow removal efforts in the Back Bay neighborhood the day after a winter storm, on January 28, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The storm brought 24.4 inches of snow to Boston, and up to 36 inches in other parts of Massachusetts. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)

What is a ‘bomb cyclone’ and what happens when it arrives?

What exactly is a “bomb cyclone?”

The ominous name “bomb cyclone” comes from a process called explosive cyclogenesis, or bombogenesis, in which a weather system undergoes a rapid drop in pressure. 

Bombogenesis occurs “when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. A drop in pressure in a system equals strengthening of the system. 

Think of it as a winter hurricane.

Such weather systems in the northern hemisphere are centers of low pressure. When the pressure drops, the storms get stronger. When they drop in such a dramatic fashion over a short period of time, the results are equally dramatic.

5 things you won’t want to leave in a freezing car

We use our cars as an extension of our homes, sometimes even as storage for those items you either don’t want to take inside, or simply forget. 

>> Read more trending news 

But with temperatures falling, there are five items you’re going to want to remember to take out of your vehicles.

Cellphones

Apple warns that its devices shouldn’t be stored in anything below minus 4 degrees. It should be above 32 degrees to use them. Samsung suggests similar guidelines, the Detroit Free Press reported. It’s all because of the lithium-ion batteries, which don’t work well in the cold. Once they warm up, usually the devices are OK to use, but the Free Press reported that repeated exposure to below zero temperature can be an issue.

Medication

Medication can lose their potency with temperature swings. The New York Times reported that heat and cold can affect drugs. Medications should be stored between the temperature of 68 and 77 degrees. Insulin and suspension medications may not be effective if they freeze. 

Soda and beer

While a cold beer or a cold soft drink may hit the spot, there’s a limit as to how cold the bottled or canned drinks can get. 

Coca-Cola freezes at 30 degrees. Beer’s freezing point is about 27 degrees depending on alcohol content, NJ.com reported.

This is the mess you will find if you let them in a freezing cold car:

Canned food

Canned food will act like beer and soda, and expand when frozen. That could expand the seals on the cans, allowing the food to spoil, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If a can freezes, thaw in a refrigerator, then smell and look at the food. If it doesn’t look or smell normal, throw it away. 

Musical Instruments

Don’t let your kids shirk their responsibility to practice their musical scales. If you, or they, leave a musical instrument in the car, they can be damaged. Wood can crack or the instruments can go out of tune. If forgotten in the car, then warm them gradually, the Free Press reported.

Sledding dog takes winter woes away

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Sledding dog takes winter woes away

We’ve heard of sled dogs but what about a sledding dog?

Secret the dog can sled all by herself, The Daily Mail reported.

The 3-year-old Australian shepherd drags her sled to the top of the hill of the property of her owner, Mary, then hops on and takes off. 

>> Read more trending news 

Then she does it again ... and again ... and again, just like a kid.

Mary posted the video to Instagram last week, where it has gotten more than 156,000 views.

How To Prepare For Winter Weather

How To Prepare For Winter Weather

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