'Bomb cyclone' moves north, bringing blizzard conditions and frigid temps

Nina Agrawal and Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

Some coastal regions, including parts of Atlantic County in New Jersey and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, had already received up to a foot of snow by noon Thursday and drifts twice that high. The National Weather Service warned of decreased visibility and snow-covered roads along the Interstate 95 corridor through Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Power companies reported outages from Virginia to Massachusetts, with nearly 40,000 customers out of power in Virginia at one point, according to a Dominion Energy outage map.

In Massachusetts, which saw downed tree limbs and wires Thursday and was bracing for ice jams, all non-emergency state employees stayed home and the courts were closed. Gov. Charlie Baker urged the public to stay off the roads, check for frozen pipes and shovel out driveways and sidewalks before accumulated snow freezes. The National Weather Service warned of "dangerously cold wind chills" that could cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

The winter storm had passed much of the Southeast, although it remained unseasonably cold along the coasts of Southern states.

In North Charleston, S.C., forecasters on Wednesday saw a record lowest high temperature -- 31 degrees. A normal high for the area in January is about 60 degrees.

In Tallahassee, Fla., residents saw snow for the first time in nearly 30 years. The occurrence of snow there in January was even more unusual -- the first time since official weather records started being kept in 1885.

On social media, residents posted images of making snow angels over their usual sand castles, and shared rare photos of orange and grapefruit trees speckled with snowflakes. Some Floridians even made snowmen, albeit small ones -- some just inches high.

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Mark Wool, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, said usually it's either too dry for enough snow to fall, or the ground isn't cold enough for it to stick.

However, it has been cold for several days in a normally temperate climate. "I've worked here for 19 years, and I don't recall when we've had an entire week where we've had temperatures held below 50 degrees," Wool said.

(Agrawal reported from New York and Cosgrove from Los Angeles.)

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