After the past weekend’s silliness over a snowstorm that wasn’t all that much different than Nor’Easters of the past, I can imagine some CNN anchor using the phrase badly in the not too distant future, like suggesting sending in a drone or robot to “defuse it”. /sarc On the serious side, this paper looks at the ingredients that must come together to form a stronger than usual and rapidly deepening cyclone, much like a rogue wave has to have many smaller waves come together in synchronization – Anthony
From AGU highlights:
Global climatology of explosive cyclones
Explosive cyclones, which have rapidly intensifying winds and heavy rain, can seriously threaten life and property. These “meteorological bombs” are difficult to forecast, in part because scientists need a better understanding of the physical mechanisms by which they form. In particular, the large-scale circulation conditions that may contribute to explosive cyclone formation are not well understood.
Black and Pezza analyzed broad-environment energetics in creating a global climatology of explosive cyclones. They identify global hotspots for explosive cyclones and find that explosive cyclones in different geographical locations share a similar characteristic energy-conversion signature that can easily be identified in satellite data. The study could help improve storm track prediction.
A universal, broad-environment energy conversion signature of explosive cyclones
 This study presents the first analysis of the Lorenz energetics associated with a global climatology of explosive cyclones. Energy budgets of the large-scale environment are calculated for 32 year climatologies (1980–2011) of explosive cyclones within four of the most active regions in the world: the Northwest Pacific, the North Atlantic, the Southwest Pacific, and the South Atlantic. A robust signature in the Lorenz energy cycle is observed; anomalous energy conversions commence 48 h before explosive cyclone development and remain strong (i.e., significantly above background noise) for 120 h. Remarkably, the calculated signature of energy conversion is virtually identical for all four geographical regions. While the conversions imply a classic baroclinic growth cycle, they are not seen in regular cyclones that undergo a deepening of less than half that exhibited by explosive cyclones. This finding opens a new avenue of exploration of explosive storm behavior based on the large-scale environment.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/grl.50114, 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50114/abstract