No, this is not a joke. The #BombCyclone is a very real thing, and according to multiple news outlets, it’s bringing snow all along the eastern U.S.—including as far south as Georgia and Florida.
While light snow flurries are no foreign phenomenon to certain parts of Florida (flurries were reported in the western Florida panhandle as recently as December 2017), outlets are also citing the Bomb Cyclone as a sort of “winter hurricane,” which could make this the most intense snowstorm the eastern part of the country has seen in decades.
Experts are wary of calling it such, however. “[Hurricanes and snow storms are] two totally different systems,” North Carolina meteorologist Ed Valle tells Vox. “Hurricanes feed off warm water and are totally different dynamically compared to a winter storm. Storms that are of hurricane strength, or have hurricane-strength winds, happen all the time. They happen every winter. This isn’t a crazy anomaly in any way, shape, or form.”
We should also clarify that this isn’t necessarily a bomb per se, at least in the context we typically think of. As explained by BBC News, it’s actually an “explosive cyclogenesis,” which occurs when “the central pressure of a low pressure system falls by 24 millibars in 24 hours,” and results in violent winds developing around the system. Yikes.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says that arctic air mass will remain in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. through the end of this week. “Very cold temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills expected,” they stated. Thanks, NWS. We haven’t noticed.
It’s a bleak and bitter cap to what’s already been a disrespectfully frigid few days, particularly in the northeast. So far, at least 11 deaths have been reported. And to be expected, Twitter isn’t thrilled. Check out some responses below, and then make sure you go out and get what you need before the storm hits. It’s potentially gonna be a long weekend.