"Bomb cyclone" to slam East Coast with more bitterly cold weather

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If you live anywhere along the U.S. East Coast, brace yourself for what is about to come: a nor'easter that forecasters are calling a "bomb cyclone".

And for people along the coast from Florida to ME, they're in for a cold and wet couple of days.

The sharp drop in pressure means the storm is strengthening. It will be most intense over the open ocean near New England, but when it's gone the cold air behind it will flood south.

Parts of Florida reported light snow with temperatures just below freezing.

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For northern Florida, at most 1 inch of snow is expected with a glaze of ice, mostly east of Tallahassee.

This storm has the potential to bring heavy snow and strong winds, especially to coastal sections of ME and New Hampshire where blizzard conditions are possible. A bomb, though, must boast a 24-millibar drop in 24 hours.

Public schools in New York City have also been closed for Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines bombogenesis as occurring when a mid-latitude storm that experiences at least a 24 millibar drop in air pressure within a 24-hour period.

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While bomb cyclones are merely a meteorological description of a storm and are not named to describe their impacts, they are often heavy storms that are accompanied by hurricane-force winds, dumps of heavy rain or snowfall and flooding along coasts.

Due to weather conditions, some airlines are allowing passengers to rebook flights without paying a cancellation fee -including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue and United Airlines as near-blizzard conditions are expected to blast through the eastern United States. When the storm has ended, the entire coast is expected to be hit with another wave of frigid air.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch in advance of a "major coastal storm" possible Thursday and Thursday Night. The storm will pass offshore with winds up to 40 miles per hour, which will have the most effect on coastal communities, he said.

"Wind chills will be uncomfortably noticeable (Friday and Saturday), especially as the temperature significantly drops on Friday", said The Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. The weather will warm back up to the 20s on Sunday, he predicted.

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