Meteorologists are calling the impending winter detonation a "bomb cyclone", a storm system with a rapidly decreasing pressure area and explosive strength.
A storm system is forming east of Florida on Wednesday, but already a mix of ice and snow has brought winter storm warnings to northern Florida and southern Georgia.
National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Maue drew some attention when he posted a message to Twitter yesterday about the "a truly awesome extratopical "bomb" cyclone" that's predicted to blow up off the New England coast today. "As exciting as this is, please use extreme caution if you are driving & don't expose yourself to the cold for too long without proper gear", said the Tallahassee Police Department along with the hashtags #SunshineState #SnowDay #WinterIsHere.
Officials issued storm warnings for parts of Florida and Georgia, the eastern Carolinas, southeast Virginia and the cities of Savannah, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington and Norfolk.
Eastern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia will get as much as 6 inches of snow along with an accumulation of ice while parts of New England could see 12 to 15 inches of snow and wind gusts of 35 miles per hour by the end of week, the service said. So, when they get dumped on with snow, it will cause massive infrastructure problems.
All three deaths occurred in North Carolina from the "bomb cyclone" of snow and wind, including two men who died Wednesday night when their pickup truck slid off a bridge and landed upside down in a creek, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Thursday at a press conference.
Boston could get 7 inches of snow, and the storm's track could bring blizzard conditions.
Public schools in New York City have also been closed for Thursday. That's why the National Weather Service is flying hurricane hunter planes into the building storm: to give forecasters a better idea of where the most intense weather will hit.
Most of the cancellations were in New Jersey, Boston and NY, which are seeing snowfall rates of up to 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) an hour and wind gusts up to 80 miles (128 kilometers) per hour.
This usually happens when a storm system moves over the warm waters of the western Atlantic and the Gulf Stream at the same time arctic cold air moves in behind from the west.