Which hurricane are we talking about? Let’s explain a bomb cyclone

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Federal officials are sharing a list of dos and don’ts about tropical cyclones. But the one question that has been plaguing meteorologists and countless Twitter users has the leading candidates for a 2020 storm looking back at a bomb cyclone.

As meteorologists consider what terms to use when describing a storm in its early stage, they also look back on their experiences and analyze terminology used in the past.

We at CNN are not experts in meteorology or related fields. Rather, we’re journalists. And since “bomb cyclone” has been so popular on social media, we decided to look at how we think about storm terminology.

A bomb cyclone is a tropical storm or hurricane that becomes an exclamation point. It’s hard to determine what a “bomb” means, but they are exploding almost every day in parts of the eastern and southern United States, according to CNN’s science unit.

On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said that Hurricane Isaac, which hit a leg of the Gulf Coast on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, was labeled as a category 1 cyclone because of its wind speeds and where it was.

The storm was the first hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Hurricane Florence hit two weeks ago, according to the Hurricane Center.

Our team also created a list of terms used during the past five years by the National Hurricane Center. It includes the bomb cyclone, typhoon, hurricane, tropical storm, hurricane watch, tropical storm warning, hurricane watch, tropical storm warning, ocean effect, mea culpa, mea culpa country, typhoon ripple, typhoon ripple bomb, typhoon intrusion, typhoon barre, typhoon barre spiral, tropical cyclone complex, ocean effect cyclone, tropical cyclone coronal mass ejection and fatal blast wave.

To learn more about hurricane terminology and their important role in weather forecasts, you can also watch CNN’s coverage of hurricanes.

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