Residents across a huge swath of the US hunkered down as a massive winter storm packing snow, ice, and high winds, followed by possible record-breaking cold, moved up the Eastern Seaboard, with the worst conditions expected from the Carolinas to Maine. The "weather bomb" expected on Thursday began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico, first hitting the Florida panhandle. It has prompted thousands of canceled flights, shuttered schools and businesses, and sparked fears of coastal flooding and power outages, the AP reports. Wind gusts of up to 60mph, strong enough to cause downed trees and power lines, are predicted in places under blizzard warnings, including the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland; coastal New Jersey; eastern Long Island, New York; and coastal eastern New England.
Winter storm warnings stretched as far south as South Carolina on Wednesday night, but National Weather Service Meteorologist Dan Peterson says the storm should be over by early Thursday in the southern states. For most of Thursday, he says, the storm will impact the Northeast, with Boston possibly getting up to 14 inches of snow. The storm will then be followed by a wave of bracing cold. He says the weather service expects 28 major cities across New England, eastern New York, and the mid-Atlantic states will have record low temperatures by dawn on Sunday. State and local officials urged residents to prepare for possible power losses and stay home so crews can clear streets and roads of what could be as much as foot or more of snow in some places.