More cold air headed to Ohio, while 'bomb cyclone' heads for East Coast

In this Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, photo, people drive on Interstate 90 near the Vrooman Road exit in Ohio. Severe cold and bone-chilling winds are gripping most of Ohio. Temperatures were climbing Thursday out of low single digits, although wind-chill readings remained around zero in some areas. Bitter cold, with light snowfall, is expected to return this weekend as a weather system sweeps the state. (Lynn Ischay/The Plain Dealer via AP)

There aren't too many words left to describe the way this winter is going. Even Niagara Falls is frozen.

When kids in Florida are making snow angels and manatees are huddling for warmth, you might wonder how much worse could it possibly get. The answer: a lot. The reason is a developing winter storm that's already leaving fountains frozen in Georgia and icy roads in Texas. "It's just freezing out here and it's been two weeks and I'm tired of it," says Nina Radebeugh.

High pressure building across the western half of the country will keep the track of the low pressure system just off the east coast, and away from Ohio. "It's never been this cold that I can remember. Especially for this long. It's just not enjoyable," adds Radebeugh.

The storm will spread snow, ice, and damaging winds all the way up the eastern seaboard. "I don't know. The snow is not my cup of tea. It's nice for like Christmas and then I'm kind of good with it going away, so hopefully soon," says Casey Neal.

As it rapidly intensifies and heads to New England the storm's giant circulation will pull in yet another round of arctic air, bringing Central Ohio and much of the Eastern U.S. the coldest temperatures of the winter so far. "I'm ready for spring. It's just too cold," adds Radebeugh.

You may have heard the term “bomb cyclone” being used to describe the storm, but what is it? Every winter storm starts as an area of low pressure. Meteorologists sometimes call them Nor’easters or mid-latitude cyclones. However, a bomb cyclone is an area of low pressure that becomes really strong in a short amount of time. As the storm travels across the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean it is also pulling in frigid Arctic air. That combination gives the storm a huge burst of energy, causing the pressure to drop quickly. If it drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours it's called bombogenesis. That’s the reason why the storms like these are called bomb cyclones.

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