The country is about to be hit by a late-season bomb cyclone. A bomb cyclone, or storm that has undergone bombogenesis, is a storm that rapidly gains strength due to a very sudden pressure drop. The greater the reduction in pressure, the stronger the storm. With the drop in pressure affected areas can expect high winds, heavy snow, and floodings. To think of it simply, bomb cyclones can be compared to a winter hurricane.
Effect of Bomb Cyclone on Travel
Winter Storm Ulmer has gone through bombogenesis and is going to be sweeping the northern and central Plains along with the Midwest. The historic storm is forecasted to dump as much as 1-2 feet of snow in some areas, with winds as high as 80 MPH.
Ulmer is expected to reach its peak intensity in the Plains on Wednesday and continue to impact to the area through Thursday. Thousands of flights have already been canceled or delayed as a result of this severe weather forecast.
The National Weather Service is strongly advising anyone planning to travel to, from or through the affected region to cancel their plans. Unfortunately, sometimes travel is unavoidable in harsh conditions. If you absolutely must travel through a bomb cyclone be prepared.
If You are Driving
- Drive during the day, it may be safer and easier to see the roads
- Go slow — high winds will especially impact taller vehicles
- Bring along a travel safety kit and extra blankets
- Invest in snow tires to help improve your vehicle’s overall stability
If You are Flying
- Confirm if your flight is still scheduled
- Stay patient if you are rerouted, this storm is impacting travelers nationwide
- Check airport wait times
- Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on, just in case
Travel Insurance for Bomb Cyclones
Travel insurance is designed to help cover unexpected events. Bomb cyclones can close down cities. The high winds and low visibility can ground flights, and the damage from the heavy wet snow and flooding may impact road travel long after the storm has passed.
For those who purchase travel insurance prior to a known peril, such as a named storm like Ulmer, there may be benefits in the event that a bomb cyclone threatens your travel plans. Some examples of benefits that may apply in the event of severe weather:
Delays and Missed Connections:
Many policies may cover travelers when airlines are forced to delay service due to weather, including bomb cyclones. For some plans, if a delay lasts longer than 6 hours, reimbursement for necessities like food and temporary lodging may be available.
In the event that a bomb cyclone as forced your airline to cancel the flight altogether, comprehensive plans may cover up to 100% of your insured trip’s cost. If before departure a bomb cyclone, or other severe weather, causes damage to your home and you must cancel your trip to deal with repairs, comprehensive travel insurance benefits may help.