Rare snow hits Florida as ‘bomb cyclone’ makes its way to the East Coast

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — What’s that falling from the sky in Florida? It’s snow, believe it or not.

Northern parts of the Sunshine State were coated in snow and ice Wednesday, marking the first time since 1989 that the capital city, Tallahassee, saw such a wintry mix.

About .1 inch of snow/sleet was accumulated on the roof of the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee office, the agency said.

Eastern parts of the city are getting “steady freezing rain, sleet and snow” while precipitation in the area has ended for the most part by Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Tallahassee said in a tweet. Officials also warn that dangerous driving conditions persist across the area.

The unusual weather is from the same storm that promises to wallop the New York region on Thursday with up to a foot or more of snow forecast in some parts. Millions are in the path of the monster storm moving up the East Coast.

Much of the state is under a weather alert, from freeze warnings and wind chill advisory to a winter storm warning.

Schools in at least five districts canceled classes on Wednesday.

In Tallahassee, students were supposed to return from winter break, but that vacation was extended thanks to the weather. Florida State University’s Tallahassee campus closed for the day due to the severe weather threat and in the Orlando area, theme parks closed water attractions due to cold weather.

The mayor of Jacksonville told non-essential city employees to stay home on Wednesday.

The storm, which is being called a “bomb cyclone” or “bombogenesis” — a term used to describe powerful low-pressure systems that intensify rapidly, according to weather.com, is traveling north along the East Coast, bringing heavy snow and strong winds with it.

When will it start snowing? Here’s the latest forecast timeline

It’s expected to arrive in the New York region by midnight Wednesday. Heavy snow and powerful wind gusts up to 45 mph are forecast to linger through Thursday evening.

For the moment, PIX11 News’ Weather Center is calling for 4 to 8 inches of snow in the five boroughs and along the Jersey Shore, with 8 to 12 inches of accumulation on eastern Long Island, and about 1 to 4 inches of snow in western and northern New Jersey.

CNN and the Associated Press contributed to this report.