7 Chilling Facts About the Winter 'Bomb Cyclone' About to Blast the East Coast

bomb cyclone is hitting the lower United States, and it’s dipping well into southern states not accustomed to this kind of Arctic freeze.


Here are seven terrifying facts about this storm, including maps and projections that should warn you to bundle up over the next several days.

1. What is a bomb cyclone?

"Bomb cyclone” is new to meteorological terminology, though phrases like “polar vortex” have been in use for years. If the storm continues to develop as scientists predict, it could create a weather pattern the likes of which the East Coast of the United States has never seen. After a series of snow storms, temperatures are expected to plummet Thursday in record-setting freezes. The atmospheric pressure is also expected to drop Thursday, keeping scientists glued to their incoming satellite data.

“It will be massive,” National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Maue warned on Twitter Tuesday.

2. It’s colder in the lower U.S. than in Alaska

Tuesday night, meteorologists reported temperatures in Alaska were higher than in Jacksonville, Florida. “This is not record-breaking for Canada or Alaska or northern Siberia, it’s just misplaced,” said Judah Cohen, a winter storm expert for Atmospheric Environmental Research. He’s forecasting a colder than normal winter for much of the U.S.

3. The pressure is expected to fall incredibly fast

In the popular natural disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow,” the eye of a freezing hurricane-like storm causes the temperatures to fall so quickly an American flag freezes in the wind. The atmospheric pressure isn’t expected to drop quite that quickly, but the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang believes the storm will undergo “explosive strengthening.”

4. It looks like a frozen hurricane.

polar vortex 2018

Pressure and wind visualization of storm off the coast of New England on Thursday. (WindyTV.com)

The National Weather Service has already posted winter storm warmings on the coast of Florida. It’ll continue its path up the East Coast like a freezing hurricane.

5. This is the first winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service office in Tallahassee in four years.

According to the Weather Channel, the NWS in Tallahasse had to issue a winter storm warning for the first time in four years. The last time was Winter Storm Leon, which produced ice and snow all over the southeastern United States and caused a travel nightmare in Atlanta and across Florida and Alabama.

6. An ice storm is expected in northern Florida.

Polar vortex predictions for 2018. (Photo: AccuWeather map screen capture)

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers warned that every time “you see pink in Florida” you know things are going to be bad.

7. The snow may cause massive infrastructure problems.

(Photo: Weather channel screen capture)

In an area of the country that doesn’t see severe winter weather, things like snow plows or snow blowers aren’t a staple for municipalities. When they catch the brunt of a snowstorm, it can cause massive infrastructure problems. Roads won’t be plowed with the speed seen in places like Ohio or Michigan.

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