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Storm Dennis becomes ‘bomb cyclone’ as it moves from Iceland to UK

A powerful winter storm system — possibly rivaling the strongest ever in the North Atlantic — was pushing toward the Irish coast Saturday as Storm Dennis began to merge with another off Iceland, taking aim at the United Kingdom and the European mainland with likely wind gusts up to 85 mph.

Storm Dennis, named by the U.K.’s national meteorological service, was moving along a more southern track and was one part of storm system that also roared across Greenland and began pounding Iceland on Friday.

Hurricane-force winds of up to 98 mph and monster waves that could reach over 100 feet high were already roaring across the North Atlantic on Saturday, the U.S. National Weather Service’s Ocean Prediction Center said.

Alan Reppert, senior meteorologist withe, said Dennis will be a “very intense storm” likely to slam the coastal areas of Ireland, the U.K., along with France and Northern Germany with wind gusts up to 85 mph. 

Huge waves crash against the sea wall at Porthcawl, south Wales as Storm Dennis hits the country on February 15, 2020. As Storm Dennis sweeps in, the country is bracing itself for widespread weather disruption for the second weekend in a row. Experts have warned that conditions amount to a "perfect storm", with hundreds of homes at risk of flooding.

The storm has undergone bombogenesis, the Weather Channel reported, which means it can be called a bomb cyclone. Bombogenesis occurs when a storm’s barometric pressure drops by 24 millibars – a millibar is a way of measuring pressure – in 24 hours.

The central pressure in Dennis dropped more than 50 millibars in 24 hours, and forecasts indicated that the central pressure of Storm Dennis could fall below 930 millibars, increasing its intensity and likelihood of strong winds, according to the Weather Channel. 

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