East Coast Braces For A Winter 'Bomb Cyclone'

A so-called "bomb cyclone" is swirling northward along the east coast of the US, bring snow, ice, and wind.

When a storm undergoes a rapid pressure drop, that's known as "explosive bombogenesis".

Scattered fatalities were reported, including a auto passenger who died after a vehicle on Thursday couldn't stop at the bottom of a steep, snow-covered hill and slammed into a commuter train on its way to Philadelphia. A passenger in the vehicle was killed.

What is a bomb cyclone?

The National Weather Service warns that heavy snow and frigid temperatures will make travel hard, and added that there are likely to be power outages throughout Boston, Eastern Massachusetts, and Rhode Island on Thursday.

What does that mean for this winter storm?

Niagara Falls, the famous chain of waterfalls located on the border between the United States and Canada, is partially frozen due to record-breaking low temperatures. However, because it is predicted to scrape the region with a period of snow during Thursday morning's commute, it could cause disruptions.

The Boston area received 12 inches of snow, with more on the way, according to the National Weather Service.

In Quincy, Massachusetts, one street turned into an icy river.

Ryan Maue, of the USA weather service, tweeted: "Rapidly developing "bomb cyclone" off U.S. east coast will see pressure drops 24 millibars / 24 hours (probably closer to 40 or 50 mb), hurricane forces winds, blizzard conditions with heavy snowfall along coast during next 48-hours".

The governors of Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia have declared states of emergency and warned residents to brace for freezing temperatures.

New York City was under a winter storm watch, with between three and six inches (8-15 centimeters) of snow expected from Wednesday night through Thursday.

Around Boston, the National Weather Service reported that howling winds sent the icy high tide to historic levels.

"It's nearly impossible to clear roads when you have those high wind gusts, because as soon as you clear the road the snow, the wind literally just brings the snow back on to the road".

A hungry buck didn't appear bothered by the storm in Staten Island. NY looks to be getting at least 6 inches.

With the wind chill, it could feel as cold as 30 degrees below in those areas, a risky level that could potentially lead to frostbite exposure, warned Carl Erickson, an AccuWeather meteorologist based in State College, Pennsylvania. Wind chills on Friday could dip as low as -35, leaving those without power in a desperate situation.

Forecasters warned that Storm Grayson will strengthen into a "bomb cyclone" as moves up the East Coast, bringing rain, high winds, coastal flooding and several inches of snow in some areas.

Authorities in Vineland, N.J. reported that a 57-year-old man was found dead Thursday morning, apparently from exposure to the bitter temperatures.

"Anticipate travel and economic impacts today and tonight with accumulating snow and white-out conditions". New York's LaGuardia Airport announced that more than 90% of its flights Thursday would be canceled because of the storm.

American Airlines suspended all departures from Boston on Thursday.

Blizzard warnings have been issued from Rhode Island to ME, while in Jacksonville, Florida, temperatures are expected to plummet to minus 28C.

A winter storm warning extended from the Gulf Coast of Florida's "Big Bend" region all the way up the Atlantic coast. That's especially bad when it's really cold out - and if you've stepped outside on the East Coast lately, enough said.

The National Weather Service is upping the ante a bit.

Snow fell on Florida's palm trees and bridges froze shut in SC, but the northeast was bearing the brunt of the storm, with warnings of blizzard conditions expected to batter New England.

  • Eleanor Harrison