Winter storm from 'bomb cyclone' hits eastern US as satellites watch (video)

Stormy winds and acres of snow are blanketing the eastern United States today (Dec. 23) within view of satellites.

Weather forecasters are trying to assist travelers and holiday-goers with staying safe amid the dangerous conditions using satellites gazing at the United States from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.

High winds were visible in NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)-East or GOES-16, a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. "Red is high-level, blue mid-level, and yellow is low-level wind," NOAA said in a tweet.

Roughly 60 percent of the United States population, or 200 million people, have winter weather warnings or advisories, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a tweet. The scale of the storm produced "one of the greatest extents" of warnings or advisories in the history of the service, NWS added on their website.

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The weather service says a "powerful Arctic front" is behind the storm's power, bringing heavy snows to the Great Lakes and winter weather hazards even in the Gulf Coast and the central Florida peninsula.

Bitterly cold wind chills are going into zones like the Carolinas, where the population may not have the infrastructure to deal with it, while regions like Buffalo are being walloped with snow.

The winter storm has already knocked out power to at least a million customers across the country, the New York Times said, and parts of Canada are also dealing with unusual winds and snow that are bringing travel disruptions, even in regions that are equipped for severe winter weather.

Airports across the U.S. and Canada have canceled or delayed flights on what is usually one of the busiest days of the year, and disruptions are expected to persist through the weekend at the least.

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: