Are You Ready for the Bomb Cyclone?

Text by: Kelsey Begg

Arc’teryx, Baffin, Canada Goose, Fjällräven, Helly Hansen, HotShots, Icebreaker, Kamik, Mackage, Merrell, Mons Royale, Mountain Hardwear, Norrona, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, SIDAS, Sorel, The North Face. Are You Ready for the Bomb Cyclone?

Winter is here and has been leaving its mark on the east coast with continuous snowfall, extreme weather warnings and a “bomb Cyclone” on the horizon. If you’re not a fan of the frigid temperatures and sharp winds of winter, now may be the time to book a tropical vacation somewhere warm because for the east coast, there is no sign of the end of this winter storm quite yet. If you’re a winter fan and thrive off of cold weather activities or the perfect excuse to curl up inside by the fire, you’re in luck. Here’s what you need to know about the incoming weather system and how to dress so that you stay warm and protected.

What is a Bomb Cyclone?

Although it sounds scarier than it is, a bomb cyclone is worth being prepared for. This is a low-pressure system which has undergone bombogenesis meaning it is a storm that has dropped 24 millibars within 24 hours and building up rapidly. Along with this type of storm comes hurricane force winds, extreme temperatures and often times, a lot of damage. 

As the bomb cyclone intensifies, some regions will see power outages, school closures, road and air travel cancellations,  deadly cold and even rare snow sightings. Tallahassee, Florida saw their first snowfall in 28 years! Although it was less than an inch, for some residents, this was their first time ever seeing snow in person.

Where is the Bomb Cyclone Hitting?

The bomb cyclone is on course to hit the east coast and many cities in the United States including portions of Long Island, NY, Jersey and Boston are currently experiencing the impact and under a blizzard warning. The storm is swiftly making its way north towards Canada later this evening. 

New Brunswick will see the heaviest snow impact from this storm and provinces seeing the heaviest wind impact include Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland. Some areas are expected to experience hurricane force winds with gusts up to 140km/h. Southern Eastern Quebec will get hit with the Eastern Townships taking the brunt of the impact.

How to Dress for the Bomb Cyclone

While it is advisable to stay inside during this wicked winter storm, for some, there is no choice but to brave the elements so staying warm will be crucial. Appropriate layers and protective outerwear will be necessary and protective accessories such as balaclavas and ski goggles may be lifesavers.

  • Layer #1: Base Layers

Even if you’re simply headed to the store to grab some groceries for dinner or you’re commuting to work, when the sharp winter winds bite, a single pair of jeans won’t keep your legs warm. Layer up and throw on some base layers under your pants and your top. Merino wool is soft next to skin, manages odour and provides the warmth you need when the temperatures drop. 

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Norrøna

Falketind super wool 

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Icebreaker

 Oasis Leggings

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Arc’teryx

 Satoro AR Crew

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Mons Royale

Shaun-off 

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  • Layer #2: Mid Layers

While your first layer is the most important, like skiing or hiking on a cold day, it loses all effectiveness if you do not layer and insulate well. For this reason, your choice of mid layer is important so a wise choice is necessary. Down and synthetic coats and vests are the most common mid layers for outdoor activities and will be equally as effective for those who must brave the frigid temperatures that come along with the bomb cyclone. Keep in mind the pros and cons of down and synthetic insulation to ensure you are choosing wisely for the region that you live in. 

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Mountain Hardwear

StretchDown DS 

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The North Face

ThermoBall™

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Arc’teryx

Cerium SV

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Helly Hansen

Odin Veor Down

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Other ideal mid layers include fleeces or softshells. These mid layers are optimal options for those looking for exceptionally breathable choices and who may be active during the frigid temperatures of the storm. 

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Patagonia

Better Sweater 1/4 Zip

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Arc’teryx

Gamma MX 

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Fjällräven

Singi 

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Mountain Hardwear

Dragon™

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The main function of a mid layer is to provide insulation and keep your body warm. In generally the warmest option will be a down mid layer although there are options for those who wish to have them. If you will spend most of your time in the cold standing still such as waiting for the bus, a down mid layer may be the best option for you.

  • Layer #3: Shell or Outer Layer

The outer layer is your protective layer and shield. This layer traps your body heat from escaping and also protects you from the elements whether it be snow or rain.

For a regular day in the mountains, a waterproof shell is the perfect third layer to finish off your ensemble. For the bomb cyclone, something that provides additional insulation and protection like one of our best jackets for extreme winters may be more suitable. Often times these jackets already provide sufficient insulation so an additional down jacket underneath is not necessary. If you are reaching for your down insulated parka, a simple fleece, sweater, flannel or vest layered over your base layer may be just the extra bit of warmth that you need. Keep in mind that everyone will react differently to the colder temperatures so if some people may require more layers, while others may not

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Mackage

Jada Down Coat

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Arc’teryx

Patera Parka

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Arc’teryx

Therme Parka

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Canada Goose

Resolute Parka

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For those who are prone to being cold and need the warmest jacket they can get, you can shop by temperature.  This gives you a variety of options to choose from across a variety of temperature ranges so you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

How to Keep Your Feet Warm

For starters, you want to choose a pair of warm socks. Whether it be a wool sock or your ski or snowboard socks, these socks are designed for cold weather and will provide the warmth you need. Next, is choosing the right winter boots. Leave the gym sneakers at home and reach for your trusty winter boots designed for subzero temperatures.

Brands like Baffin, Sorel and Kamik are designed for the coldest winter temperatures and are equipped with liners and extra insulation to provide the warmth you need. You can shop by temperature to find the boot suitable for the region you live in and decide on a style that suits your needs after that. Keep in mind that taller styles will offer more coverage and protection if you are having to traverse through deep snowbanks and are best worn with tall socks.

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Sorel

Joan of Arctic

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Merrell

Polarand Rove Peak

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Baffin

Snow Monster

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Kamik

Icebreaker

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Other tricks to keep your feet warm are using heated insoles like those offered by Sidas or tossing a couple HotSHots Toe warmers inside your boots.

Accessorize for Warmth

Last but not least is your head and extremities. Accessorizing for warmth is essential, so find a pair your warmest winter aviator hat with a cozy balaclava, tie on your favourite scarf or neckwarmer and slip your hands into some heated gloves or mittens! If the wind is really blowing, you can opt to throw on a pair of ski goggles for your commute so you can see where you’re going without having frozen eyelashes. If heated gloves are a little out of your budget range, you can turn your regular ski gloves or mittens into heated ones with a set of HotShots hand warmers.

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Fjällräven

Nordic Heater

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Arc’teryx

Phase AR Balaclava

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Canada Goose

Solid Woven Scarf

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Outdoor Research

Lucent GTX Heated Gloves

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Bundle Up & Be Safe

If you don’t need to travel or be outside during the bomb cyclone, staying at home will be the warmest and safest option. Stock up the cupboards, make sure the firewood pile is stocked if you have one and stay tuned to the news. If you do have to venture outside or hit the roads, be sure to drive safely and always be prepared for the worst. Having an updated winter emergency kit in your car is crucial along with the usual winter car supplies such as a shovel, jumper cables, windshield wiper fluid and other items you may carry.

 

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