A massive storm call a Bomb Cyclone is riding just off the eastern shore bringing gale force winds and heavy snow to much of the Eastern Seaboard.
A Bomb Cyclone or bombogenesis "occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A millibar is a measure of atmospheric pressure and is a key indicator of a storm's strength.
This system is also referred to as a Nor'easter, a storm that forms in the Atlantic and rides the east coast bringing wind and torrential rain to the area.
This storm gets the bomb cyclone distinction due to its rapidly evolving strength and intensity.
The storm has already produced snow as far south as Tallahassee, Florida, a city that hasn't seen snow in 30 years.
Heavy snow also fell through the day Thursday in Charleston, South Carolina, another city where snowfall is rare. They could end up with more than 5 inches of snow before Friday morning.
Heavy snowfall will spread north into the rest of the Mid-Atlantic coastal area and continue north into Washington, D.C., New York, and into New England.
Many areas along the storm's path can expect 5 to 8 inches of snow based on current forecast models, and this storm has the potential to over deliver depending on its exact track and distance from the coast.
Warm Atlantic moisture is wrapping around the counter clockwise circulation of the storm and mixing with arctic air that is already in place along the east coast on the western side of the storm with another blast of reinforcing cold moving into those same areas Friday.
This storm also has the potential to produce sleet and freezing rain in many of those same areas.
The ice and snow can be expected to create major power outages and traffic issues for cities in the storm's path as well as major disruptions in air travel for flight coming into and out of the east coast.
The storm is expected to move north and exit the U.S. coast and New England on Thursday night but not before leaving the impacts of a major winter storm in its wake