For millions of people on the U.S. East Coast, it’s like they’ve been hit by a category one hurricane, but this storm lashed them with cold and snow. Tens of thousands from Virginia, on down to Florida lost electricity. And in Connecticut, where the forecast called for at least six inches of snow, and winds as strong as 50 miles per hour, the state’s governor said utility crews wouldn’t be able to get power lines repaired if they fail.
Dozens of eastern U.S. cities were set to shiver under record-breaking cold. In Boston, Massachusetts, that could mean weekend temperatures dropping to seven below zero. New York City was expecting as much as 10 inches of snow, with temperatures dropping to about three degrees, strong winds and whiteout conditions forced JFK Airport to stop its flights. By yesterday afternoon, LaGuardia Airport had shut down too. In Newark Liberty Airport in neighboring New Jersey was also struggling to maintain flights.
Passengers were stranded, residents were told to stay indoors and schools all over the Northeast were closed because of something called a bomb cyclone.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Bombogenesis definitely sounds like a scary term. Now, bomb cyclone is a low pressure system that has undergone bombogenesis. In fact, storms that undergo this weather phenomenon can be rather destructive, causing a lot of damage.
But in the meteorological sense, bombogenesis simply means a storm that drops 24 millibars within 24 hours. So, you basically have a storm that is rapidly intensifying.
In this part of the world, we see these storms rapidly intensifying because you have the cold air from the North combining with warmer air coming in from the gulfstream. We see these in mid-latitudes and in the winter time, many times, we refer to these storms as northeasters. They can bring a lot of wind, rain and snow to the Northeast.