NOW, THE FIRST thing you should know about a bomb cyclone is it’s just a name—and unlike a sharknado, it’s not a literal one. The very real scientific term describes a storm that suddenly intensifies following a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure. Bombing out, or “bombogenesis,” is when a cyclone’s central pressure drops 24 millibars or more in 24 hours, bringing furious winds that can quickly create blizzard conditions and coastal flooding.
We really shouldn’t have to say this, but the next time a massive storm churns up towering waves in the ocean, it’s probably a good idea to head for cover, instead of suiting up and heading out for some death-defying windsurfing.
Shortly after midnight on October 23, 2015, a group of courageous men and women flew into the center of Hurricane Patricia and landed in the history books. With measured winds of 200 MPH, Hurricane Patricia became the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded anywhere on Earth. Let that sink in for a moment.
Three cyclones—Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena—are currently tearing it up in the central Pacific. On Sunday, all of them were a category 4. This is the first time the northeastern Pacific has seen three such hurricanes simultaneously.