A “life-threatening” blizzard swept across the northeastern United States yesterday with heavy snowfall and winds bringing daily life to a standstill for some 70 million people.
Cities like New York and Boston were the hardest hit by the storm, which the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed had intensified into a “bomb cyclone,” characterized by rapid, sharp drops in atmospheric pressure.
Cities like New York and Boston were the hardest hit by the storm., which the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed has intensified into a “bomb cyclone”, characterized by rapid sharp drops in atmospheric pressurerk and Massachusettsreceived 24 inches of snow in the early afternoon, and more than 95,000 homes were without power in Massachusetts.
The NWS warned that winds could reach between 80 and 120 km/h. and of “almost impossible travel conditions” in the northeastern United States.
New York Mayor Eric Adams urged citizens to stay home, warning that “Mother Nature often does what she wants.”
The metro network works almost normally and, as usual in bad weather, it serves as a shelter for thousands of homeless people during the storm.
Salt machines and snow plows were at full throttle in New York, where Central Park was covered by 7.5 inches of snow and regional train lines were partially closed.
In Times Square, the heart of New York, the neon lights of the billboards faded.
New York and the neighboring state of New Jersey, in addition to Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, declared the emergency for all or part of those states.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul warned residents Saturday that “the most dangerous phase of the storm is now.” “Come home carefully tonight, stay home through the weekend, avoid any unnecessary travel,” the governor said in a statement, noting that especially heavy snow would be expected on Long Island, New York, and the lower Valley. Hudson.
The cold spread as far south as Florida, where the NWS warned of “scattered or isolated iguana falls from trees” as the drop in temperatures temporarily paralyzes these large lizards.
Residents of towns and cities up and down the East Coast were warned to avoid all unnecessary travel as additional snow falls heavier in New England.
On Long Island, officials reported that a woman was found dead in her car by a snowplow operator.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, stated that there had been “serious snowfall for most of Saturday,” and that there is still “pretty limited visibility.”
For its part, the Boston Public Works Department said 900 snowplows were hard at work on the city’s streets.
Snowplow driver Mark Burns of Boston’s South Shore said the snow had gotten heavy: “It was supposed to be light and fluffy, but now it’s a little wet.”
Some 3,500 flights, both internal and international, were canceled yesterday in the United States, according to flight tracker FlightAware. Some 1,000 flights that were due to take off on Sunday have also been suspended.
Cancellations on Friday totaled more than 1,450.
The storm follows a similar one that blanketed much of eastern North America from Georgia to Canada with snow two weeks ago, leaving many homes without power and disrupting thousands of air connections.
The regional meteorological service indicated that the storm would rapidly intensify over the next 24 hours, and that the pressure could drop sharply generating an event sometimes referred to as “bomb cyclone”
A bomb cyclone is a large, intense mid-latitude storm that has low pressure at its center, weather fronts, and an array of associated weather conditions, from blizzards to severe thunderstorms and precipitation. It becomes a pump when its central pressure drops very rapidly, at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. Two famous meteorologists, Fred Sanders and John Gyakum, named this pattern in a 1980 study..
When a cyclone “bombards”, or undergoes a bombogenesis, this indicates that it has access to the optimal ingredients to strengthen itself, such as high amounts of heat, humidity, and rising air. Most cyclones do not rapidly intensify in this way. Bomb cyclones put forecasters on high alert, because they can produce significant damaging impacts.
The US East Coast is one of the regions where bombogenesis is most common. That’s because storms in the mid-latitudes—a temperate zone north of the tropics that includes the entire continental US—get their energy from large temperature contrasts. Along the US East Coast in winter, there is a powerful natural thermal contrast between the cold land and the warm Gulf Stream.
Meteorologists predict that northeastern The US will be affected by the powerful storm all this Sunday. Forecast models predict a swath of snow from the North Carolina coast north to Maine.
With information from AFP and EFE