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Last Updated Jan 3, 2018 7:50 PM EST

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Forecasters warned that a winter storm that already dumped snow in the South could develop into a “bomb cyclone” as it moves up the East Coast, bringing hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding and up to a foot of snow. The storm dumped snow in Tallahassee, Florida, on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three decades before slogging up the Atlantic coast and smacking Southern cities such as Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina, with a rare blast of snow and ice. 

While it wasn’t a white-out in the South, snow is an unusual site for tourists in the Palmetto State, CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez reports. 

“It’s pretty wild,” said Gus Cralle, who is visiting Charleston. “I’ve never seen snow on palm trees before.”


The “bomb cyclone” winter storm moved its way up the East Cosat.


Hundreds of accidents littered roadways from Georgia to the Carolinas as semi-trucks flipped over and cars lost control. Those who didn’t heed the warnings to stay off the roads found themselves stuck.

Daytime temperatures were more than 30 degrees below normal on Wednesday and more than 2,000 flights were already canceled for Thursday. Public schools in New York City have already closed for Thursday in anticipation of the snow.

Follow along with updates below as the storm works its way up the coast. All times Eastern unless otherwise indicated. 

7:50 p.m.: New York City cancels school

New York City is under a winter storm watch from late Wednesday through Thursday evening, CBS New York reports. A blizzard warning has been issued for Long Island’s Suffolk County and some coastal New Jersey counties, but New York City is not affected. 

How much snow the city gets depends on the track of the storm. CBS New York forecaster Lonnie Quinn reported the North American Model expects the storm to track closer to the west, bringing 8.8 inches of accumulation.

But the European Model, which tracks the storm 54 miles farther east, anticipates only 2.9 inches of accumulation for New York City.

Wind gusts of 35 mph to 45 mph are also possible.

New York City’s Department of Sanitation has also issued a snow alert starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, meaning snow equipment will be ready to handle the winter weather.

7:05 p.m.: Deep freeze expected overnight in Florida

There will be a hard freeze overnight for many locations away from the immediate coast, CBS affiliate WJAX reports. Even the beaches will see a light freeze overnight.

Highs will be in the mid to upper 40s Thursday and another hard freeze is expected Friday morning.

In Tallahassee, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management will be opening as a warming station for people to escape the cold, CBS affiliate WCTV reports

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