Called a "bomb cyclone" because its pressure fell so quickly and indicated explosive strengthening, what is resembling a winter hurricane will hammer coastal locations from Georgia to ME with ice and snow.
Here is the latest from WPC regarding the East Coast winter storm for Wednesday and Thursday. By the time the storm reaches New England, its central pressure will have dropped 53 millibars in only 24 hours, an astonishing pressure drop unheard of outside of a hurricane-strength storm. "The snow may be heavy over parts of the Southern Mid-Atlantic Coast overnight Wednesday", the weather service reported Wednesday.
How much the storm affects the coast is contingent on a number of factors, most notably how far out to sea it tracks.
"Winter storm watches and warnings have been issued as far south as parts of north Florida, coastal Georgia, and the low country of SC, including the cities of Savannah, Ga". 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.
At 5:45am on Wednesday, people living in north Tallahassee were seeing freezing rain and sleet.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch in advance of a "major coastal storm" possible Thursday and Thursday Night.
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. The difference between the two air masses helps to strengthen the storm system. The timing of the storm is expected to bring snowfall from the Virginia Tidewater to New York City and New England during the day. As it does so, it will undergo a rapid intensification, or as it's called in meteorology, bombogenesis.
This usually happens when a storm system moves over the warm waters of the western Atlantic and the Gulf Stream at the same time arctic cold air moves in behind from the west.