The winter warnings or watches connected to the so-called bomb cyclone storm now have a reported reach of approximately 200 million Americans, according to an update from Axios.
Various weather reports speculate the storm will comprise "arctic cold front dives" from Canada, howling winds, large snow drifts, and rising tides (in warmer spots) — covering the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, East Coast, and extending across the Plains and to the Deep South and Gulf Coast regions.
"This is not your ordinary cold front," according to a recent bulletin from the National Weather Service.
It's still early on the storm's overall potential. However, the NWS said that Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota are already experiencing cold blasts of arctic air.
Some forecasters have described the event as a once-in-a-generation storm.
Here are three prime examples of the havoc taking place:
- For the city of Dillon, Montana, located in the southwestern corner of the state, temperatures reportedly plunged by more than 26 degrees in a three-minute span — after a harsh cold front passed through the area.
- In Casper, Wyoming, the temperature reportedly dropped 43 degrees in a 30-minute span on Wednesday.
- And in Birmingham, Alabama, which has had an NWS forecast center since 2006, the office declared its first-ever "wind chill warning" to the masses living in the state.
A "bomb cyclone" is a fast-moving storm that also produces atmospheric pressure drops of at least 24 millibars over a 24-hour period, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"A bomb cyclone occurs when atmospheric pressure at the center of the cyclone drops rapidly. In order to approximately qualify, the pressure needs to drop about 1 [millibar], or more, every hour over a 24-hour period," John Moore, a public affairs specialist and meteorologist for the National Weather Service, told CBS News.
"This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters," NOAA added.
According to reports, the major storm will likely remain powerful at least through Friday. There could also be 40-plus mph winds for thousands of miles.
For those occupying the warm side of the storm, there are already expectations of "powerful southerly winds and high astronomic tides," which could lead to extensive coastal flooding along the East Coast, according to NOAA.
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