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'Bomb Cyclone' to Hit the U.S. Before Releasing Record-Breaking Polar Vortex

The Weather Channel

Think it's cold now? You haven't seen anything yet. We know it might seem like the last week or so has been super bitter, but forecasters say an even more severe winter storm is brewing — and it could be dangerous for some folks in its path.

Experts say a bomb cyclone is set to hit our country this week before a polar vortex releases arctic cold air in its wake. Yikes!

What is a bomb cyclone?

A bomb cyclone, also known as bombogenesis, is a rapidly intensifying area of low pressure. As a bomb cyclone strengthens, it can increase winds dramatically and cause intense snowfall, according to The Weather Channel. Blizzard conditions are possible, and sometimes, they're even accompanied by lightning as the system is "bombing out."

What states will be affected by the bomb cyclone and polar vortex?

Believe it or not, this massive storm has formed off the coast of Florida, of all places. In true "bomb cyclone" nature, it's expected to quickly intensify and hit much of the mid-Atlantic by Wednesday night. Georgia has already declared a state of emergency due to the winter storm, and heavy snow is predicted in Maryland and Delaware from Wednesday evening to Thursday afternoon. By Thursday, even states far north in New England can expect to see some serious snow and possible blizzard conditions, along with potentially damaging winds, battering waves, and coastal flooding.

Though the bomb cyclone mostly affects states on the East Coast, don't think that the rest of the country gets off easy from the power of the polar vortex and arctic air. Wind chills 50 to 60 degrees below zero have already been recorded in the Dakotas and northern Minnesota. And the Plains and Midwest can expect to see dangerously cold wind chills throughout this first week of January as an arctic outbreak continues to cause record lows. Parts of the Midwest can expect to see wind chills as cold as 20 degrees below zero.

If you live in any of these regions, be sure to monitor your local forecast for specific information about winter storm watches or warnings in your area. And for goodness' sake, please bundle up, if you haven't already!

Next, find out how to quickly warm up your home when it's cold outside.

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