Record-shattering cold weather continues to grip most of the United States this week and there is no end in sight. A mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow is forecast to coat palm trees across the usually warm Southeast portion of the United States including Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina on Wednesday. But the Northeast will get pounded by even scarier weather; highlighted by a “bomb cyclone” with potentially deadly winds and a subzero blast of arctic air from the North Pole because of a polar vortex.
Earlier this week, Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld closed their water parks ahead of the frigid wintry temperatures caused by Winter Storm Grayson. Several counties across central and northern Florida canceled schools before the wintry mix hit the Sunshine State. Snow is already falling in Tallahassee.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 28 counties after the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning. Charleston, South Carolina could get up to 6 inches of snow. This could be the biggest winter storm to ever hit Charleston and Savannah.
There was even snow in the Gulf of Mexico, about 30 miles south of Louisiana.
But the unusually cold weather conditions in the Southeast pale in comparison as to the vicious conditions that the Northeast will experience. The National Weather Service said the mix of snow and freezing rain will creep up the East Coast from Florida to North Carolina before rapidly strengthening at sea. The storm will then transform in a “bomb cyclone,” which is expected to hammer the Northeast with snow, ice, bone-chilling winds, and “blizzard conditions” this week. “The storm will then have explosive strengthening over the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic, bringing hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions for parts of coastal New England tomorrow,” Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a bomb cyclone or a bombogenesis is when “a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure.” “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,” NOAA said. I’m pretty sure the weather industry is just making up scary terms these days to strike fear in people.
Coastal areas from New Jersey to Maine are expected to be smashed with hurricane-force gusts and tidal flooding as the Nor’easter hits the region. The National Weather Service warned that areas along coastal areas of New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic could get up to 6 inches of snow and New England could get over a foot of the white fluffy stuff from Winter Storm Grayson.
Speaking of scary weather terms, the Northeast is also expected to get pummeled with eye-tearing artic air from a polar vortex. A polar vortex is an “upper level low-pressure area lying near the Earth’s pole. There are two polar vortices in the Earth’s atmosphere, which overlie the North, and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low pressure zone that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole (called a cyclone), and clockwise at the South Pole.[discuss] The bases of the two polar vortices are located in the middle and upper troposphere and extend into the stratosphere. Beneath that lies a large mass of cold, dense arctic air.”
An arctic air mass will remain over the eastern two thirds of the U.S. through the end of the week. Parts of all 50 states were below freezing.
Indianapolis tied a record low temperature of -12 degrees, which was set in 1887. On Tuesday, Boston tied a 100-year-old record after suffering through seven consecutive days of temperatures that did not climb past 20 degrees.
In Chicago, wind chills were expected to be as cold as -35. A thick sheet of ice covered Lake Michigan.
The cold weather across that country has already been blamed for at least a dozen deaths since last week. There was a 100-car pileup in Buffalo, New York caused by the icy weather that had a casualty.
A blizzard warning was issued to Virginia Beach and the entire Chesapeake Bay area. Heavy snow and strong winds with gusts up to 50 mph are forecasted.
Oddly, one of the warmest places in the United States was Alaska, which is experieincing unseasonably warm weather and hit a balmy 44 degrees on Tuesday. Flights across the Eastern Seaboard were already canceled or delayed. This comes only days after Niagara Falls began to ice over and there were sharks literally freezing to death. Better bundle up buttercup.