The winter storm will cause dangerous travel conditions along the East Coast

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With a chilling description as a "bomb cyclone," Winter Storm Grayson will bring snow, ice and strong wind gusts along the East Coast and as far south as Florida this week to make for a bitter start to the new year.

Winter Storm Grayson's track began Wednesday as snow began to fall in Florida and Georgia — a rarity for the southern states with humid subtropical climates. The National Weather Service issued Winter Storm warnings in these southeast regions — the first time in nearly four years for Tallahassee, according to the Weather Channel.

The combination of the chilling temperatures seen so far this winter and the "bomb cyclone" make for a particularly harsh weather event. The "bomb cyclone," known as a bombogenesis, "occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies" when "a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Winter Storm Grayson's track is expected to move up toward South Carolina and North Carolina next, where the National Weather Service warned of heavy snow, freezing rain and strong wind gusts that would cause "very hazardous conditions" early Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday morning. The biting conditions will continue to move up the East Coast Wednesday and into Thursday, with heavy snow and strong wind gusts expected in southeast Virginia.

Coastal cities along the East Coast are not only in Winter Storm Grayson's path, but they are expected to bear the brunt of the winter storm, with strong coastal winds, and, in the case of Atlantic City in New Jersey, freezing spray from the coast. In Massachusetts, where winter storm Grayson is expected to hit Thursday morning, the state's coastal towns not only have a blizzard to look forward to, but also have been issued a Coastal Flood Warning, which is in effect until Thursday afternoon.

As Winter Storm Grayson continues to track toward Maine on Thursday, blizzard conditions are expected from Portland along the coast and inland, where travel "will be very dangerous to impossible," warns the National Weather Service.

For major cities along the East Coast, Winter Storm Grayson is likely to bring heavy snow Thursday. New York City and southern Connecticut will see heavy snow late Wednesday and into Thursday evening. Boston will see up to potentially 14 inches of snow, and also has a Coastal Flood Warning in effect for Thursday. Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia will have less harsh conditions, with less snowfall and strong winds.

WATCH: Why Southern Winters Are The Best

At least nine people have died in the U.S. this winter as a result of the bone-chilling temperatures that have spanned across the Midwest and East Coast. Even as the East Coast braces for blizzards and wind this week, the National Weather Service has issued Wind Chill Advisories in Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, among other areas.

This Story Originally Appeared On Time