Unusual “bomb cyclone” responsible for widespread power outages

The type of storm that hit New England hard early Monday morning and knocked out power to nearly half a million Mainers is an unusual meteorological event sometimes referred to as a “bomb cyclone.”

The unusual, “Sharknado”-like nickname stems from from a phenomenon called “bombogenesis,” in which atmospheric pressure drops relatively quickly (technically, 24 millibars in 24 hours), whipping up the kind of sudden strong winds that toppled countless trees throughout the region late Sunday and on Monday. More than 80,000 customers of Maine’s two largest electricity utilities still did not have power as of Friday morning.

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