‘Bomb Cyclone’ and Other Weird Weather Words

The weather—our universal go-to for easy small talk—seems to be getting weirder. On the one hand, climate change is certainly to blame. On the other, our heightened awareness of the state of our planet, along with better technology to track extreme weather, is also making us pay closer attention to what’s happening outside our window. Meanwhile, new ways of talking that better reflect our anthropogenic epoch are catching on.

“Every weather event that occurs now is playing out in a different background state,” says Jeff Masters, meteorologist for Yale Climate Connections and co-founder of Weather Underground. “We’re now in a totally new climate. The climate of the 21st century has a lot more heat energy in it.”

This means more e…