Bomb cyclone threatens East Coast with nor’easter bringing snow and ice

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A “bomb cyclone” is forecast to barrel up the US East coast this weekend, bringing snow and ice along with powerful winds and risk of flooding.

The National Weather Service reported on Tuesday that the winter storm will likely impact portions of the Mid-Atlantic, especially near the coast, and areas in the northeast through New England late on Friday and into the weekend.

A blast of chilly Arctic air is set to overtake much of the eastern US through Thursday. The coldest temperatures are expected from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast on Wednesday morning, with widespread lows below zero.

Sub-freezing low temperatures will also make it as far south as central Louisiana, and gusty winds will make it feel even colder in most spots.

Wind Chill Warnings and advisories will stretch from the Northern Plains to parts of the Midwest, where wind chills could drop as low as 40F below zero.

By Thursday morning, the brunt of the cold air will shift into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Lows will once again drop below zero from the central Appalachians to New England.

As the weekend approaches, forecasters said they were increasingly confident that the region would see significant winter impacts including the I-95 metro areas from New York City to Washington DC.

Heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding are all possible, the National Weather Service Prediction Center (NWS) stated.

New England is most likely to see heavy snow although major cities to the south could also have flurries.

Significant coastal impacts are possible in the Northeast including coastal flooding and beach erosion. Additionally, strong winds may cause damage along with blowing snow.

Forecasters warned that travel conditions could be hazardous.

To the west, moderate-to-heavy snow was shifting from Colorado into Kansas on Tuesday amid reports of major road closures, including parts of Interstate 70, and several crashes. Snowfall accumulations of up to eight inches was possible in the higher terrain of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Elsewhere, showers and isolated thunderstorms will be found across the Florida Peninsula on Tuesday night and Wednesday as an area of low pressure crosses the Sunshine State.

A so-called “bomb cyclone” is caused by rapid drop in air pressure, and often occurs close to the ocean because it requires warm moist air colliding with cold, dry air, along with volatile weather from the jet stream.