06 January, 2018
Florida has not only seen freezing temperatures but actual snow as of Wednesday morning. Some areas of Savannah and the Georgia coast received up to three inches of snow. "We could have some serious issues for folks who aren't used to driving in this kind of weather".
Governors of states in the path of the storm have declared emergencies.
"The temperatures are certainly extreme, but we've seen colder", said Joseph Nield, a meteorologist in Indianapolis, noting that the all-time low temperature in IN was minus 36 in 1994.
Airlines had canceled more than 2,100 Thursday flights so far, on top of 558 Wednesday, according to FlightAware, an online tracking service. In Tallahassee, students were supposed to return from winter break but got another day thanks to the weather.
Florida's largest theme parks announced that water attractions such as Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay and SeaWorld's Aquatica were closed.
Wind chill advisories were in place as far south as Boca Raton, Fla., where wind chills could dip into the 30s overnight.
Making the most of the South's bitter cold snap, the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro offered discounted tickets for those willing to courageous the cold to see polar bears frolic in their kind of weather, along with Arctic foxes and elk. The temperature in Atlanta fell to 13 degrees before dawn on Tuesday.
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The police in Tallahassee urged residents to use "extreme caution" on the roads and to bundle up if they were going to head outside in the snow and cold.
The NWS said the winter storm affecting the Southeast may intensify into a "bomb cyclone", also known as a "bombogenesis" storm, that could dump more than eight inches of snow on the Boston area come Thursday, and at least six inches in the region of New York City, according to the AP.
Blizzard conditions are also possible along much of New England's coastline, eastern Long Island and parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina.
"It's sort of akin to a hurricane traveling up the coast", said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at the private firm Weather.US. A storm is a bomb - or bombogensis happens - when it drops 24 millibars of pressure in 24 hours.
Aside from bone-chilling temperatures and ferocious winds, the system was expected to leave Baltimore and Washington largely unscathed, with little or no snow expected. That's the most snowfall in Charleston since December 1989, and plenty for Chris Monoc's sons, ages 4 and 2, to go sledding outside their home near the city's iconic Ravenel Bridge.
"There is a lot of potential for records being broken Friday and Saturday", Gallina said.