'Bomb cyclone' set to blast Northeast with snow, bone-chilling cold
Millions braced for the potential of a "bomb cyclone" storm system that could hit the Northeast on Thursday with feet of snow and ice, bone-chilling winds and record-breaking cold.
The massive storm, which first brought a rare blast of winter weather to Florida, Georgia and South Carolina on Wednesday, prompted thousands of canceled flights, shuttered schools and businesses and sparked fears of coastal flooding and power outages.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, coastal New Jersey, Long Island, N.Y. and coastal eastern New England. Most parts could see up to at least a foot of snow, while nearly two feet of snow was projected further north, according to Delaware Online.
"We think there are going to be scattered records broken for low temperatures," National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Peterson told the Associated Press, adding that the agency expects 28 major cities across New England, eastern New York and the mid-Atlantic states will have record low temperatures by dawn on Sunday.
The storm moved out of the Southeast early Thursday after bringing rare cold to the region. Floridians in Tallahassee saw snow for the first time in nearly 30 years, while Charleston, S.C. saw at least five inches of snow and ice. Savannah, Ga. also received about 1.2 inches of snow.
Record cold in Jackson, Mississippi has so far broken 37 of the city's water mains, city spokeswoman Kai Williams said Wednesday. Jackson has declared an emergency and is hiring outside contractors to help fix the breaks.
The storm has resulted in thousands of canceled flights at major airports such as Boston's Logan International Airport and New York's LaGuardia Airport and disrupted the schedules at regional airports.
Amtrak planned to operate a modified schedule between New York and Boston on Thursday. Northeast Regional Service between Washington, D.C., and Newport News/Norfolk, Virginia, was canceled for Thursday.
At least 17 deaths have been blamed on dangerously cold temperatures that for days have gripped widespread areas of the U.S. from Texas to New England.
The weather phenomenon, known as a bomb cyclone or bombogenesis, "occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone," the agency said.
Residents across the Northeast were taking the proper precautions as the storm approached.
Tressa Shifflett, of Virginia Beach, Va., told the Associated Press that she planned to spend most of her time Thursday playing Monopoly, Go Fish and Pokemon with her 11- and 13-year-old children.
"We basically just plan on hunkering down," she said
Doug Nashold, a retired Navy veteran of Norfolk, Va., said he was already dealing with a pipe burst.
"I thought I was prepared, but it got colder a lot quicker than I thought it would," he said.
Fox News' Nicole Darrah, Terace Garnier, Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.New Jersey, Virginia, Snow, Bomb Cyclone, East Cost, Millions Effected, Josh Mandel, Maryland, Hurricand Wind Force, Bitter COld