Real weather term "bomb" blows up on social media

Kenneth Freeman, carries his daughter Alora, 8, as they visit a frozen water fountain downtown in Atlanta, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. A brutal winter storm scattered a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain from normally balmy north Florida up the Southeast seaboard Wednesday, adding to the misery of a bitter cold snap. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency through Friday for at least 28 counties because of the frigid weather. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

'Bomb cyclone' is a real weather term but it's not quite as explosive as it sounds.

WASHINGTON — The term bomb cyclone sounds scary, but it's a real weather term and it fits the storm that sprang up from the U.S. Southeast.

Just like the phrase polar vortex four years ago, the weather term bomb is exploding on social media. Meteorologists use the term when a storm intensifies rapidly. They say the worst of this storm will be the high winds and bitter cold that follows. Most of the storm is staying out at sea.

Weather.US meteorologist Ryan Maue says "Bombogenesis is the technical term. Bomb cyclone is a shortened version of it, better for social media."

Maue helped popularize polar vortex in 2014. He says there won't be any exploding or detonating.

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Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears . His work can be found here .

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