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What is the upcoming winter storm actually called?

Winter storm forecast
Forecast shows winter storm slamming Northeast 02:38

The first major winter storm of 2018 is upon us, and many are rushing to prepare themselves -- and figure out the storm's name. Many have spent time looking up the term "bomb cyclone" as the storm started making national headlines about the scope of its size and the impact it will have.

Although the term "bomb cyclone" dates back to the 1940s, it started gaining traction after a tweet by meteorologist Ryan Maue. It refers to a storm that develops intensity over the water that it would not have gained over land.

He wrote that "meteorologists are going to be glued to the new GOES-East satellite" Thursday as they watch "a truly amazing extratopical 'bomb' cyclone off New England coast."

"Bombogenesis" is another term making the rounds. The terms describes what happens as the storm gains strength, as it is now.

Meteorologists say a "bombogensis" is a storm system that features a 24-millibar drop in pressure within 24 hours or less.

What is a "bomb cyclone?" 01:05

The Weather Channel has dubbed this storm "Winter Storm Grayson." They say it's "simply easier to communicate" if the storm has a name -- something they've done for six seasons.

However, the National Weather Service refrains from naming winter storms, as do many media outlets, including CBS News.

CBS affiliate WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, has named it "Winter Storm Brody" on its website and in its newscast.

They report that southeast Connecticut will feel the biggest impact from Winter Storm Brody. The area's fire department added staff to each shift, police are gearing up and public works is ready to pre-treat the roads.

Blizzard warnings are in effect along the Atlantic coast from Virginia Beach to Maine. The exception is the New York City metropolitan area. The Norfolk, Virginia, blizzard warning is only the second one since the 1980s.

Virginia will see the most flurries overnight and into Thursday morning.

A look at the GOES imaging satellite showing the winter storm along the East coast. NASA/NOAA

CBS News weather producer David Parkinson contributed to this report.

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