A major storm is hammering much of eastern Colorado on Wednesday and it has triggered questions about an alarming term: bomb cyclone.

The official term is “bombogenesis,” and it’s used to described the rapid intensification of a storm, said Klint Skelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

A storm’s intensity is measured in pressure, with lower pressure storms packing more punch.

The term is reserved for storms that drop at least 24 millibars, or units of pressure, over a 24-hour period. A drop of this size has taken place in Colorado.

The average pressure at sea level is 1,013.25 millibars.

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