A 1,000-mile wide storm is about to cause chaos across the U.S., driving up wind gusts, dropping temperatures and delaying flights — just in time for Christmas. Two scary words, “bomb” and “cyclone,” have been joined to describe this hideous storm system that only a weather fanatic could love.

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What else can we expect from the impending bomb cyclone? Tree damage and power outages. Lows of minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver with a wind chill factor of minus 30 by Thursday morning. Saint Louis can expect to encounter minus 4 weather on Thursday night. The hardy people of Montana and the Dakotas always endure cold, but minus 20s and minus 30s is still a bit much, especially with wind chill factors driving the temperature as low as minus 55. Across the country, nearly 50 million people will be under wind chill alerts.

Related: “Bomb cyclone” to slam East Coast with more bitterly cold weather

The National Weather Service office serving Chicago warned that travel could “become extremely dangerous and life-threatening, particularly in light of the bitterly cold temperatures during the height of the storm.” Many airlines are offering limited, no-charge itinerary changes. CNN has the scoop on that if you’re starting to question your travel plans. Many people may be asking themselves how much they really want to fly to see relatives this Christmas. If you do, expect turbulence. Lots of it.

Even Southerners will be searching the backs of their closets for a winter jacket as freezing temperatures strike usually ice-free New Orleans, Mobile and Tampa. A rare type of ghostly fog called “Arctic sea smoke” will float above the Gulf of Mexico as the chilled air wafts over warmer water.

A bomb cyclone is also known as bombogenesis, and is defined as the pressure of a storm dropping at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. The millibar measurement refers to a storm’s atmospheric pressure. Meteorologists use the measure to assess the strength of storm systems.

Via ABC7 Chicago, Washington Post

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