January 4, 2018 10:52 am
Updated: January 4, 2018 11:55 pm

Live coverage: Powerful ‘bomb cyclone’ targets Maritimes, U.S. East Coast

WATCH ABOVE: Extreme storm surge led emergency management officials in Nova Scotia to urge people living in vulnerable coastal areas to leave their homes. Comfort centers have been set up as tens of thousands of people are without electricity and the storm is only expected to get worse throughout the night.

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Residents along the eastern seaboard are feeling the effects of a powerful winter storm, known as a “bomb cyclone,” as the massive blizzard makes its way north with the Maritimes in its sights.

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The storm has dumped as many as 43 centimeters of snow in some areas and has unleashed hurricane-force winds and historic flooding. Forecasters expected the storm to be followed immediately by a blast of cold that could break records in more than two-dozen cities and bring wind chills as low as minus 40 degrees this weekend.

READ MORE: Storm closures in Nova Scotia as severe winter weather predicted for province

The severe weather system, officially called a bombogenesis, is sweeping across a huge swath of the U.S., from the Carolinas to Maine, and is expected to dump up to 45 centimetres of snow in some areas and bring strong winds Thursday, followed by possible record-breaking cold.

The U.S. National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for much of the East Coast, including coastal New England and New York, as the system moves into Atlantic Canada.

Global News meteorologist Ross Hull explains that bombogensesis is a low-pressure system in which the barometric pressure falls 24 millibars within 24 hours, meaning things gets intense very quickly.

“The term cyclone refers to a low-pressure system – this is not a hurricane, but a strong area of low pressure with a cold core. You can call any low-pressure system a cyclone,” Hull said.

Hull explained Thursday that storm had intensified over the last 24 hours “at near historic rates.”

“It’s not a hurricane but we’re even picking up an eye like feature on satellite imagery, which is some warmer air trapped in the centre of this massive storm,” the meteorologist said.

As for what to expect in Atlantic Canada, Hull said storm surge, damaging winds with heavy rain and heavy snow will be a concern over the next day or so.

WATCH ABOVE: ‘Bomb cyclone’ moves north, leaves thousands without power in southern U.S.

“Some parts of New Brunswick will likely get hit with over 40 centimetres of snow and the winds with this storm on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia will be at hurricane force with gusts well over 100 km/h,” Hull said.

Nova Scotia Power company launched the biggest pre-storm mobilization in the company’s history as the storm moves towards the province.

The storm has resulted in thousands of cancelled flights at major airports such as Boston’s Logan International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport and disrupted the schedules at regional airports. Dozens of flights have already been cancelled at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

WATCH: Eastern Canada is about to get even colder thanks to a ‘bomb cyclone’

Schools and business were closed in many parts of Atlantic Canada and as of about 1:30 p.m. local time, Halifax suspended ferry service harbour. Nearly 30,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were also without service.

Follow our live blog for up to the minute coverage as the “bomb cyclone” targets the east coast.

–with a file from Maham Abedi and the Associated Press

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People seen crossing the road during snow storm in Times Square. New York city is under heavy snow storm as a giant winter ‘bomb cyclone’ walloped the East Coast of United States with freezing cold air and heavy snow. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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Times Square experiences blizzard conditions during the snow ‘bomb cyclone’ which is hitting New York, where schools have been closed and flights may be grounded. 04 January 2018. PHOTOGRAPH BY Adam Gray / Barcroft Images.

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A police officer secures a scene where falling branches downed power lines in the Lanesville neighbourhood of Gloucester, MA during a winter storm on Jan. 4, 2018. (John Blanding/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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People walk through a snowstorm as they exit the Oculus at the Fulton Street transit hub beneath the World Trade Center in New York, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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A truck drives through a flooded parking lot on Long Wharf in Boston at high tide during a winter storm on Jan. 4, 2018. (Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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A pedestrian slips while walking in strong winds during a snow storm in New York on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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A statue of a defiant girl stands during a snow storm in the Financial District of New York on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Pedestrians take photographs in front of the Charging Bull
sculpture during a snow storm in the Financial District of New York, on
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A group of men help a motorist after his vehicle was stuck in the snow near Asbury Park boardwalk during a snowstorm, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Asbury Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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A woman watches as ocean waves crest the seawall during a
winter snow storm in the Boston suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts, January 4, 2018. (Reuters/Brian Snyder)

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A woman looks out over the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, January 4, 2018. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty
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A worker clears snow from a plaza in lower Manhattan in New York, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 as a powerful winter storm buffeted the area with high winds and blowing snow. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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WATCH: NOAA satellite captures storm ‘bomb’ moving up Eastern Seaboard
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A man struggles to make a delivery through snowy streets in New York, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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Two deaths in North Carolina are being blamed on the East Coast snowstorm.
Authorities say two men died during the winter storm Wednesday night when their pickup truck overturned into a creek.
A spokesman for the state Highway Patrol says the truck came to rest on its top while submerged in the creek in Moore County, which is southwest of the Raleigh-Durham area. (AP)
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