Columbus, Ohio freezes as ‘bomb cyclone’ brings record-breaking temperature drop of 27 degrees in 3 hours

Forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) anticipate that Americans will experience temperatures between 10 and 30 degrees below normal this holiday weekend.

A frigid air mass associated with the “bomb cyclone” affecting more than half of the United States during this festive season has led to record low temperatures in states from the Midwest to the East.

Weather records indicate that temperatures in Columbus, Ohio plummeted 27 degrees over a three-hour period between last night and Friday. At 11 p.m., the thermometer recorded 45°F; by 2 a.m. today, the temperature had dropped to 18°F. The freezing cold also reached 39°F in that same time period.

Recent bomb cyclones in the United States

This meteorological term describes a rapidly intensifying low-pressure system that can bring strong winds and heavy precipitation. These storms often form over land and can bring extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall or strong winds.

March 2018

In March 2018, a bomb cyclone hit the U.S. Midwest, bringing heavy snowfall, strong winds, and freezing temperatures to several states. This storm caused widespread power outages, travel disruptions, and school closures.

January 2019

In January 2019, a bomb cyclone affected the Midwest and the East Coast of the United States, causing heavy snowfall and strong winds. This storm resulted in numerous flight cancellations, travel delays, power outages, and school closures.

January 2021

In January 2021, a bomb cyclone hit the U.S. Midwest and Great Plains, bringing heavy snowfall and strong winds to several states. This storm caused travel disruptions, power outages, and school closures.

December 2021

In December 2021, a bomb cyclone affected the Midwest and the United States East Coast, bringing historic low temperatures and heavy snowfall to several states. This storm caused widespread travel disruptions, power outages, and school closures.

Extreme weather throughout the USA this winter

For Atlanta, Georgia, the forecast was for temperatures to drop around 19°F by 7 a.m. Previously, they were estimated to be as low as 39°F.

In Washington, D.C., temperatures rose to approximately 49°F early this morning. By 9 a.m., they had begun to drop, and by about 10:30 p.m., they were expected to be no higher than 15°F by 10:30 p.m.

As for New York, temperatures were climbing to 56°F earlier today. However, starting at 11 a.m., the numbers will drop as cold air moves in. By 5:30 p.m., temperatures would drop to 14°F.

This Christmas will be the coldest in 40 years for several states, primarily in the Midwest.

In the case of the Eastern part of the country, the impact will even reach states like Florida, known for its warm weather.

Tomorrow, temperatures in the “Sunshine State” are expected to drop into the 20s in some areas. In Gainesville and Ocala, minimum temperatures are estimated at 23°F and 26°F, respectively, according to the FOX 35/Storm Team report.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters anticipate that Americans will experience temperatures between 10°F and 30°F below normal.

The polar cold from this major storm is expected to persist throughout the weekend. The system is occurring in the same week winter formally began in the U.S. on December 21.

Other dramatic temperature drops in the US

Some locations in the United States, such as parts of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, can experience huge temperature swings due to changes in weather patterns.

For example:

  • In January 1971, the temperature in Loma, Montana, dropped from a high of 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) to a low of -56 degrees Fahrenheit (-49 degrees Celsius) in just 24 hours.
  • In February 1899, the temperature in Browning, Montana, dropped from a high of 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) to a low of -54 degrees Fahrenheit (-48 degrees Celsius) in just 18 hours.