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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Holiday Winter Storm

A major winter storm is sweeping across the Midwest this week and is poised to become a bomb cyclone, bringing heavy snow and blizzard conditions to parts of the Great Lakes and high winds to the East Coast. The storm will also bring in cold air to much of the country, including Texas and Florida. A bomb cyclone occurs when a storm system undergoes bombogenesis—when its central pressure drops rapidly within 24 hours (see 101).

As of this writing, 17 states are under winter storm warnings, watches, and advisories through the holiday weekend. Wind chills are expected to be as low as 60 below zero in some areas, such as the Dakotas, and wind gusts are expected to be as high as 55 mph, including in Chicago. Hundreds of flights have been canceled and airlines have begun issuing flight waivers.

Today is also the winter solstice (see background), which marks the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

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