3000 Flights Canceled As “Bomb Cyclone” Bears Down

ABC News reports:

Nearly 3,000 U.S. flights have been canceled today as a powerful storm hits the Northeast, packing heavy snow, gusty winds and the coldest air of the season. “A powerful Nor’easter will move north along the east coast through Thursday,” the National Weather Service said in a statement. “Reinforcing arctic air and gusty winds will sweep in behind the Nor’easter for the coldest wind chills of the season in many eastern locations.”

Wind gusts are forecast to come in between 40 to 60 mph along most parts of the East Coast this afternoon, but some areas, including Atlantic City, New Jersey, could see gusts above 70 mph. Separately, the coldest air of the season is forecast to spill from Canada into the eastern United States, bringing wind chills down to as low as 1 degree in some major cities, including Washington, D.C., and New York City today. The worst of the cold will be in the Northeast Friday morning, when wind chills are forecast to hit the minus 40s in New England.

NBC News reports:

New York could see up to 9 inches of snow and wind gusts as high as 50 mph, the National Weather Service said. The city’s schools will stay closed and airports are already crippled by cancellations as residents in the region grapple with the snow through the early evening.

As the storm slogged northward, bringing blizzards to coastal Virginia, it rapidly strengthened through a process called bombogenesis; its impact follows a sustained period of brutally cold weather linked to the deaths of at least 20 people in the United States since Dec. 26.

Blizzard warnings were in effect Thursday all along the Eastern Seaboard from northeastern North Carolina to New England, where a storm surge of up to 3 feet, accompanied by chunks of ice, was predicted to cause coastal flooding. Forecasters also warned of winds at Cape Cod gusting to hurricane force.