11 dead from cold as East Coast braces for winter 'bomb cyclone'

National Weather Service briefing for New York City on Jan. 3 at 5 a.m

National Weather Service briefing for New York City on Jan. 3 at 5 a.m

ABC NewsThe storm system will begin to strengthen late Wednesday and move up the East Coast, spreading snow into the eastern mid-Atlantic states and southern New Jersey.

It's part of a major wind storm moving up the East coast that's bringing ice, freezing rain, snow and strong winds.

Bombogenesis occurs "when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)".

Parts of Florida are under a Winter Storm Warning as a storm system is expected to dump a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain from northern Florida to North Carolina.

The ominous name "bomb cyclone" comes from a process called explosive cyclogenesis, or bombogenesis, in which a weather system undergoes a rapid drop in pressure.

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Wednesday morning the internet exploded over news of a so-called Bomb Cyclone. Now, parts of Northern Florida are under a winter storm watch for the first time in four years. The real-world impact is a cold-core winter storm that resembles a tropical cyclone with regard to barometric pressure, wind speed, and precipitation, if not in temperature.

Wednesday-morning driving conditions in the Charleston, South Carolina, area were becoming "rapidly unsafe", according to the weather service.

Most of the cancellations were in New Jersey, Boston and NY, which are seeing snowfall rates of up to 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) an hour and wind gusts up to 80 miles (128 kilometers) per hour.

Baltimore and Washington could receive snowfall dependent on the storm's path, and so could Philadelphia and New York City, but as much as 4 to 8 inches could fall between Atlantic City and eastern Long Island.

As the storm bears down, an arctic air mass will remain entrenched over the eastern two thirds of the country through the end of the week. That's why the National Weather Service is flying hurricane hunter planes into the building storm: to give forecasters a better idea of where the most intense weather will hit.

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