How to survive the next snow bomb cyclone

Frederick Owens
January 13, 2018

More than 1,000 US flights had been canceled early on Friday with New York's three major airports and Boston Logan International Airport seeing the most cancellations.

The storm was powered by a rapid plunge in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters called a bombogenesis or a "bomb cyclone".

The severe weather has led the Foreign Office to update its advice to United Kingdom travellers in, or heading to, the region.

Along with snow and strong winds, this storm is also causing instances of thunder and lightning along the coast.

On Thursday, Philadelphia can expect 3 to 6 inches of snow, while 4 to 8 inches are forecast for New York City and over a foot of snow is expected in Boston.

De Blasio declared a Winter Weather Emergency during the news conference, emphasising Grayson is a "a very serious storm" and warning residents to stay indoors.

Nearby cities include Savannah, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, may also get some snow, though estimates are now closer to 1 to 3 inches for those areas, according to AccuWeather's forecast. "It has one of the greatest rapidly deepening rates we've ever seen", Bob Oravec, a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service, tells The Verge. NY too is set to see extreme conditions with snow ranging between 3 and 8 inches in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

In New York City, the worst of the weather was expected during Thursday morning's commute. Various models agreed that [the storm's] surface low would deepen by an astounding 30-40 millibars or more from late Wednesday to late Thursday, more than qualifying the midlatitude cyclone as a meteorological "bomb" (defined as 24 millibars of deepening in 24 hours). Big Apple officials are among those all along the eastern seaboard warning residents about the extreme cold expected behind the storm.

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At Newark Liberty airport in New Jersey, airlines had cancelled 867 flights as of noon Thursday, 73 percent of normal flight activity.

Four people were killed in North Carolina and SC after their vehicles ran off snow-covered roads, authorities said.

But as fearsome as the storm is, it probably will not be as "explosive" as the name sounds. But once the storm is gone, it will still leave high winds and cold temperatures in its wake.

So far, the high winds and heavy snowfalls brought to eastern America by the "bomb cyclone" have left thousands of flights canceled, and numerous schools and offices closed.

Shelters were open as officials anxious about power outages leaving people without any heat.

In these areas, blizzard-like conditions could develop with winds ranging from 35 to 70 miles per hour, whiteout conditions and a "few claps of lightning", Miller said.

But what is a "bomb cyclone" - and why and where have they happened?

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