Even as much of the United States’ East Coast is in the grip of a harsh cold wave, a phenomenon known as “bombogenesis” could make things worse. On Wednesday, bombogenesis – also known as the “bomb cyclone” – brought snow to the Sunshine State of Florida for the first time in nearly a decade.

Bombogenesis occurs when a storm’s barometric pressure drops extremely rapidly, by 24 millibars in 24 hours, strengthening the intensity of a storm. The storm is likely to bring winds between 65 km per hour and 95 km per hour, and around 12 inches of snow, CNN reported. CNN’s report pointed out that temperatures in places affected by the storm will drop far below freezing, making it much colder than even Mars, where the high is now minus 18.8 degrees Celsius.

Although this sort of storm is seen in North East US every winter, its effects are far more powerful this time around.

There was at least 0.1 inches of snow in Florida’s capital Tallahassee, for the first time since 1989.

At least nine people are believed to have died across the US East Coast since the deep-freeze set in, Reuters reported. The governors of Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia have declared states of emergency and warned residents to brace for freezing temperatures.

A frozen Horseshoe Falls, part of the Niagara Falls, in Canada’s Ontario. (Credit: Aaron Lynett/Reuters)
Ice and water flow over the American Falls, viewed from the Canadian side. (Credit: Aaron Lynett/Reuters)
Pedestrians stop to photograph the frozen Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain in New York. (Credit: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
People are advised to stay home as the Boston Public Works shovels snow off roads. (Credit: Boston Police Department/Twitter)
Children enjoying a snow fight in Sumter, South Carolina, on Wednesday. (Credit: Chris M Moore/Facebook)
The Boston Police Department issues an advisory, asking people to stay indoors during the snow storm (Credit: Boston Police Department/Twitter)
A thick blanket of snow covers a lawn and trees in Manahawkin, New Jersey. (Credit: Scissor Sisters Salon - NJ/Facebook)

According to the National Weather Service of the United States, there could be a major winter storm with snow and ice, all the way from Florida in the southeast to New England and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday.

“The potential exists for dangerous travel, scattered power outages, tidal flooding, and very cold wind chills,” the National Weather Service said.