'Bomb cyclone' smashes eastern US

After more than a week of below-freezing temperatures in the US Northwest, a winter storm has hit the Southeast.

After more than a week of below-freezing temperatures in the US Northwest, a winter storm has hit the Southeast.

The storm has already brought snow and freezing rain as far south as Florida and is likely to be one of the fastest developing storms in recent decades.

A storm which develops this fast is sometimes referred to as a weather “bomb”, and this storm has been dubbed a “bomb cyclone”.

The governors of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency ahead of the severe weather, warning residents to expect icy roads and unusually low temperatures.

The snow in Tallahassee was the first snow seen in Florida’s capital for three decades.

Only a few millimetres of snow fell in Tallahassee, but in other southeastern states there was far more.

Ellabell, Georgia reported 15cm of snow; Summerville in South Carolina was coated in 18cm; and in Pinhurst, North Caroline received 15cm.

As well as snow, the system also brought dangerous freezing rain - rain the falls as liquid, but instantly freezes when it hits the ground. This covers everything in a layer of ice and is highly dangerous.

The treacherous weather forced the closure of a 80km stretch of Florida’s Interstate 10.

As the winter storm moves north along the coast, it is deepening rapidly. A major blizzard is expected to hit New England and Canada’s New Brunswick.

The region at risk stretches from Virginia to Maine, with areas around Boston expected to see about 30cmof snow on Thursday.

Agencies

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