Winter storm dumps snow on US South, could strengthen into 'bomb cyclone'

Pauline Gross
January 13, 2018

As of 8:28 a.m., 3,000 flights around the USA were canceled with airports in New York, New Jersey and Boston hardest hit, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking service.

A storm is considered a "bomb" when the pressure drops rapidly - at least 24 millibars in 24 hours - and the storm Thursday could intensify at twice that rate, Bob Oravec, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, told NBC News.

The storm, dubbed "Winter Storm Grayson", will be similar in size and strength to a hurricane.

"If you're in the area or due to travel, you should monitor local media, follow the advice of the local authorities and check with your airline or transport provider before travelling to your point of departure".

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. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also closed all state offices and declared a state of emergency in three coastal counties.

They include the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland; coastal New Jersey; eastern Long Island, New York; and coastal eastern New England.

States of emergency were in effect in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia and blizzard warnings from the Canadian border as far south as Virginia. For a cyclone to qualify, it needs to drop by 24 millibars (a pressure unit used by meteorologists) in 24 hours.

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Thousands of United States flights were cancelled or delayed, with the NY and New Jersey port authorities noting that flights at JFK would not resume until Friday morning.

Forecasters have warned that extremely low temperatures will stretch from the New England area all the way to the Midwest and down to the Carolinas.

The high winds caused coastal flooding from MA to ME, overwhelming fishing piers, streets and restaurants. About 2,000 people in the state were without power, he said, and getting the lights back on could take longer than usual because of the wind.

"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 garbage truck with a plow clears the street during a snowstorm in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, on January 4, 2018. Then, over the Bahamas, we had a warm conveyor belt of moist air moving northward.

The snow has been steadily falling in Cape May for hours and the winds which are gusting up to 30 miles per hour are drastically impairing visibility for drivers on the roads.

What is "bomb cyclone" or "bombogenesis"? .

Other reports by GizPress

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