'Bomb cyclone' set to hit freezing US states as record-breaking cold snap continues

2 January 2018, 21:12

Heavy snow is forecast for northeast America as a large part of the country remains gripped by a record-breaking freeze.

Temperatures dropped to below -30C in some areas between Christmas and New Year and on Tuesday Boston broke a 100-year record.

The city marked seven days in a row when temperatures did not top -6.7C (20F).

Chicago also set a new low for New Year's Day, with temperatures not getting above -17C (-1F), and with the wind chill Tuesday could see a bone-chilling -39C (-20F).

Parts of Texas, including Dallas, Houston and Austin, were also below zero on Tuesday.

Forecasters have predicted the storm will become a so-called "bomb cyclone" - where pressure falls very fast in an indication of explosive strengthening of the storm.

Many schools and businesses remained closed on the first day back, and forecasters say snow could hit the east coast as early as Wednesday as temperatures pick up.

"New York City will probably expect anywhere from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) of snow," said Greg Gallina from the National Weather Service.

"Southeast Maine will experience anywhere from 12 to 15 inches (30-38 cm) of snow," he added.

Northern Florida could also get freezing rain and sleet, with small amounts of snow possible in coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina from late on Tuesday.

The ongoing freeze has been blamed for at least nine deaths.

A homeless man was found dead on a porch in Charleston, West Virginia, while a man found dead outside a Detroit, Michigan, church may also have frozen to death.

Last week, an investigation was launched by the humane society after a dog was found "frozen solid" on the porch of a home in Toledo, Ohio.

Authorities in Pennsylvania said a man is facing charges after allegedly leaving three children unsupervised in a McDonald's and telling them to walk home alone in -10C temperatures.

Police said the 10-year-old boy had a jacket but two girls, aged 10 and 11, did not.