Unforgiving cold has punished the eastern third of the United States for the past 10 days.
Ryan Maue, a meteorologist from weather.us, has hinted that most areas may hit record lows. Boston is expected to receive up to seven inches of snow, in addition to powerful winds capable of knocking down trees and power lines.
The "bomb cyclone" or bombogenesis-a fancy term for a winter hurricane-occurs when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then, the center of the storm quickly becomes more intense. The last one that comes to memory was the October 29-30th rain and wind storm that postponed Halloween in many towns.
In other parts of the U.S., dangerously cold temperatures have been blamed for at least a dozen deaths as well as freezing a water tower in Iowa and halting ferry services in NY.
A winter storm warning extended from the Gulf Coast in Florida's "Big Bend" region all the way up the Atlantic coast.
GFS model shows accumulating snow from the Georgia-Florida border all the way up the East Coast to Maine. Trucks spread grit on bridges and major streets ahead of the storm and police closed a major causeway and several bridges because of ice. If you're further south and less accustomed to inconvenient winter storms, now is the time to prepare. How? But small shifts to the west could bring some snow to these cities.
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As for the D.C. metro region, this storm system may be too far out at sea in the Atlantic to bring any significant snow. The cyclone thus created rapidly intensifies, strengthening the storm.
European model simulation of storm pressure drop between Wednesday and Thursday. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure.
Peak six-hour wind gusts are forecast by the European model between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday. Throughout eastern MA and eastern ME, the combination of wind and snow could create blizzard conditions, especially if the storm wobbles west. "Power outage risk followed by arctic air Fri/Sat a big concern!"
The storm's enormous circulation will help draw several lobes of the polar vortex, the zone of frigid air meandering the North Pole, over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by Friday and Saturday.
That's without windchill. With the cold air factored in, temperatures will be between -30 C and -40 C later this week and into the weekend. Locations circled indicate coldest on record.
National Weather Service has forecast low temperature on Friday.