Eastern US braces for a deep freeze following massive storm

National Weather Service Issues Winter Storm Watch For Suffolk County

CNN's report pointed out that temperatures in places affected by the storm will drop far below freezing, making it much colder than even Mars, where the high is now minus 18.8 degrees Celsius.

The storm was powered by a rapid plunge in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters called a bombogenesis, or a "bomb cyclone".

From Florida to ME, the east coast is bracing for a winter storm that has been described as a monster storm, nor'easter, winter hurricane, and "bomb cyclone" and is expected to bring wind, snow, ice, and extreme cold.

The Miami Herald says it has been three years since people in South Florida experienced cold like this.

The storm began late Wednesday and severe conditions are expected to continue at least through Friday morning.

A winter storm warning extended from the Gulf Coast in Florida's "Big Bend" region all the way up the Atlantic coast. Residents of southeast Georgia were treated to a rare half foot of snow (15 centimeters).

And, as usual, everyone has a different take on what track this massive storm will take. Current computer models suggest most, if not all, snowfall will occur east of Washington and Baltimore on Wednesday night into early Thursday.

As for the D.C. metro region, this storm system may be too far out at sea in the Atlantic to bring any significant snow.

The 1993 storm caused the equivalent of $9.3 billion in damages from the Deep South through the East Coast.

In general, the lower the air pressure, the stronger the storm. Hurricane Sandy, which had tropical characteristics, ruling it out as a direct comparison, had a minimum central air pressure of 946 millibars when it made landfall in New Jersey in October 2012. Wind chill describes the combined effect of wind and low temperatures on bare skin. Winds will be considerably stronger over the ocean - exceeding hurricane force - where enormous waves will form.

The atmospheric pressure, is "the weight of the air above us", David Nicosia, meteorologist at the weather service's Binghamton, New York, office, told Newsweek. Watches were upgraded to Winter Storm Warnings and Blizzard Warnings on the Eastern Shore, where the potential for isolated amounts exceeding 10 inches of snow is possible. "Expect downed trees and power lines resulting in scattered to widespread outages".

If the storm is able to hug the eastern coastline a little closer or intensify more rapidly, then totals could come up locally.

The upcoming frigid weekend won't be coldest the region has ever experienced, however. That storm, popularly known as the 'polar vortex, ' dumped 65 inches of snow on Buffalo, New York, and brought temperatures across New York and the Northeast into the single digits for a few days.

In other parts of the USA, dangerously cold temperatures have been blamed for at least a dozen deaths as well as freezing a water tower in Iowa and halting ferry services in NY.

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