Weather of Arabia - A huge winter storm hit most parts of the United States early on Friday, prompting authorities to issue warnings to about two-thirds of the population of severe weather, disrupting the travel plans of millions of Americans, as the Christmas holidays approach.
On Friday morning, the winter storm intensified into a so-called "bombshell cyclone" near the Great Lakes, bringing high winds, snow and blizzards from the Northern Plains to western and northern New York state.
The extreme cold, intensified by strong winds, is expected to extend far south to the US-Mexico border. Authorities issued severe cold warnings across the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
The US National Weather Service said the "bomb hurricane" could unleash up to 1.25 centimeters of snow an hour driven by high winds, reducing visibility to almost zero.
2pm update from Lancaster, NY
It's just bad @weatherchannel @JimCantore @accuweather @ReedTimmerAccu @news4buffalo @WKBW @WGRZ @wunderground @SPECNews1BUF @NWSBUFFALO @TheBuffaloNews pic.twitter.com/SSmfx8PKJP
— Ashley B (@ashleysviews) December 23, 2022
A bomb cyclone, also called a "bomb cyclone", is a rapidly intensifying storm that occurs when the air pressure drops by 20 millibars or more in a 24-hour period. This usually occurs when a warm air mass collides with a cold one. This rapid intensification leads to More severe impacts than a weaker storm would produce.
Bomb hurricanes occur most often near the east coast of North America, but they can also occur in other regions such as the central United States. A bomb hurricane even hit the west coast in the fall of 2021.
These severe storms are most common from October through March, but they can occur at any time of the year.
This is because these storms get their fuel from temperature differences and strong jet stream turbulence, and these components are more common in the cooler months.
Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled before Christmas because of this "once-in-a-generation" storm, and authorities warned that conditions were too dangerous for travel when large numbers of Americans were supposed to flock to roads and airports this holiday season.
Snow mainly covers a number of roads across the country. The media reported that there had been accidents. The main highway that crosses the northern United States, in the state of South Dakota, was closed.
"A number of secondary roads are currently considered 'impassable' (...) and travel on parts of them is virtually impossible due to the thickness and density of the snow," the South Dakota Department of Transportation said on its website Thursday.
Wyoming state authorities published stunning photos of the storm, taken from inside the car of one of its members, on Wednesday. Outside, it was impossible to see anything because "the vision is non-existent".
More than 5,500 flights were canceled Thursday and another 24,000 were delayed, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. And affected by this storm, especially the airports of Chicago and Denver.
Canada is also bracing for "unusually low temperatures for the season", heavy snowfall and the possibility of freezing rain in some areas.
The authorities encouraged Quebec residents, for example, to "prepare contingency plans and stock up on emergency kits containing drinking water, food, medicine, first aid kits and a flashlight."
The country's main airport in Toronto is witnessing a number of flight delays and other cancellations.
Strong winds combined with high tides on Friday also pushed water ashore along parts of the east coast, from the mid-Atlantic coast to Maine.
Webhannet Drive right now. Please avoid the coastal roads right now. pic.twitter.com/mJAajnV6Ix
— Wells Police (@WellsPolice) December 23, 2022
Water levels reached major flood stage along parts of the Jersey Shore, including Sandy Hook. Serious flooding has been reported in Queens, Cape Cod and along the coast of Maine.
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