To say that the East Coast was hit was a lot of snow would be the understatement of the year — OK, the year just started. But, according to photos of the bomb cyclone that are surfacing all over social media, the coast is being battered by a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and ice. Meteorologists have classified the storm a "bomb cyclone" because of its sharp drop in atmospheric pressure, according to The New York Times.
While storms like this one aren't quite a rare phenomenon, meteorologists have estimated that they break out in the Northern Hemisphere an average of about 10 times a year, Wired reported. The "bomb" part refers to "bombogenesis," the thing that occurs when a cyclone's central pressure drops 24 millibars or more in 24 hours, according to the Wired report. This is what brings the strong winds that induce the blizzard conditions and coastal flooding.
After first roaring through the Southeast, dropping up to six inches on the Carolinas, the storm continued to head north, The Washington Post reported. The storm has already claimed four lives while in the South — three of the deaths occurred in North Carolina and one occurred in South Carolina, ABC reported. Governors have responded by declaring emergencies and blizzard warnings in states including Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Virginia, according to The New York Times.
To keep East Coasters and travelers safe, schools and offices have closed down as snow plows and salt trucks roll through streets. Meanwhile, thousands of flights with major carriers like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest, and United have already been canceled and major airports like John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia in New York have even closed as the bomb cyclone wreaks havoc across the East Coast, Business Insider reported.
A winter storm warning remains in effect until 1 a.m. on Friday in New York, where residents are expecting six to 10 inches of snow, strong winds, and temperatures below freezing, according to The New York Times.
In the South, power outages could increase, NBC News reported. More than 12,400 Georgia Power customers, 10,200 Florida Power & Light customers and 2,700 South Carolina Electric & Gas customers have been affected since Wednesday night.
Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where wind gusts reached 45 mph and visibility was less than a mile, received the brunt of the storm, according to FOX, as the heaviest snow fell along the beaches of Maryland and Virginia. That said, snow coated every single state along the Eastern Seaboard, from Florida to Maine, by Thursday morning, USA Today reported. About 115 million Americans all over the East Coast were also under wind chill advisories, watches or warnings as of Thursday morning, according to NBC News.
And the storm isn't over when the snow stops falling, either. Forecasters are still issuing dire warnings for the millions of people still in the storm’s path about the cold days ahead. Bitter cold is expected to follow in at least 28 major cities across New England, eastern New York and the Mid-Atlantic states, according USA Today. These cities are reported to have record low temperatures by dawn on Sunday, as the storm will pull polar air, causing temperatures to plummet to as low as 40 degrees below normal across the East Coast, The Washington Post reported.
As the storm grips the East Coast, people are warned to stay indoors as much as possible. And it seems that while they're home relaxing on their couches, off from work or school, they're getting busy on social media. Social media users in cities all over the East Coast are taking to platforms such as Twitter to share their experiences. Here are some of the craziest photos and videos they've posted thus far.
Editor's note: After publication, we discovered this article did not meet our editorial standards. There were portions that did not correctly attribute another source. It has been updated to meet our standards.