Getting the Forecast Over The Finish Line

Unless you were living under a rock this past week, you heard the term “Bomb Cyclone”. There was a major Nor’easter that impacted the eastern United States from Florida to Maine. The impacts of this storm affected one of the most populated regions of our country. The storm, called Grayson by some organizations, produced hazards that you might see in a blizzard or a hurricane. Yet, the media focus on “Bomb Cyclone” was also a story.

The term “bomb” has been in the meteorological science literature for nearly 40 years and is related to a certain amount of deepening of the low in a 24-hour period. The American Meteorological Society’s Glossary of Meteorology provides an excellent definition. For me, this week’s obsession with the term highlighted the ongoing challenges and opportunities with communicating the weather forecast. Some argue that the “Bomb Cyclone” hoopla saved lives by making people more aware of the dangers of the storm. Others suggested that it was just “click bait.” The answer is probably in the middle.

This week on Weather Geeks, I talk with geographer Dr. Kim Klockow-McClain. She is an expert on applying concepts from the social sciences community to better convey weather messaging and understand how the public receives them. This episode has a wide-ranging palette that included hazard communication, storm chasing, the use of colors or language, and more. It is quite timely as thousands of meteorologists and communication professionals descend on Austin, Texas for the largest meteorology conference in the United States, the AMS Annual meeting. These topics will surely be discussed.

Join us for an all-new episode of Weather Geeks this weekend. The show always airs Sunday at Noon ET (11 am CT, 10 am MT, 9 am PT) on The Weather Channel.

Please follow @WxGeeksTWC or @DrShepherd2013 on Twitter.

Find us on Facebook at WxGeeks or Dr. Marshall Shepherd.


Join the Discussion


One Comment


  1. Dr. @twcerikanavarro, the term “bomb” has been in the meteorological science literature since February 1980, the same month and year of the “Miracle on Ice”, the greatest moment in sports history. 😉
    Dr. Shepherd, you should do something for Dr. Kim Klockow-McClain, who works at the University of Oklahoma. Yell out Boomer-Sooner to her! #sooneratTWC 😀