First Alert Weather Day: Winter storm breakdown for the Jacksonville area

Snow has already fallen in Tallahassee, Florida's capital, said Rob Carolan, a meteorologist and president of Hometown Forecast Services Nashua, New Hampshire.

As of now, it looks as if the area between the United States 1 and I-95 corridor will see a trace to one inch late Wednesday into Wednesday night with two to three inches as you approach the I-95 corridor.

At about 10 p.m. ET, a baggage vehicle and two sleeper cars on an Amtrak passenger train derailed, but stayed upright near the Savannah station, according to a railroad spokesperson. "Let me go right now to check on that van", he said to close out his report. Airports in Charleston, in Savannah, Georgia and elsewhere have cancelled a total of 500 flights and at least 1,700 additional flights will be cancelled on Thursday. In Tallahassee, students were supposed to return from winter break but got another day thanks to the weather.

Theme parks in Florida, including Walt Disney World, have reportedly cancelled water attractions.

The North Carolina Zoo offered half-priced admission, giving visitors a rare chance to see polar bears frolic in their kind of weather. Another blast of arctic air will swoop in later, bringing back those minus double-digits. Wind chill advisories and freeze warnings were in effect from South Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England. The temperature in Atlanta fell to 13 degrees before dawn on Tuesday.

State and local officials urged residents to prepare for possible power losses and stay home so crews can clear streets and roads of what could be as much as foot or more of snow in some places. The weather is believed to have been caused by the storm system known as the bomb cyclone, which is gearing up to hit cities across the entire east coast from today through the weekend.

Across the Georgia-South Carolina line in Charleston, the weather service reported 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) as the snow was winding down at 5 p.m.

Blizzard warnings were issued from Rhode Island to Maine.

"It's sort of akin to a hurricane traveling up the coast", said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at the private firm Weather.US. However, this is the most snowfall the city has seen in 28 years. It could turn into a bomb, short for bombogenesis, a phenomenon that occurs when a system's central pressure drops steeply - 24 millibars or more - in 24 hours.

  • Marlene Weaver