How to Properly Freak Out About the Great Blizzard of 2014

Look alive, people: We aren't even 48 hours into 2014 and the first blizzard of this young year is slated to slam the East Coast today.

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Look alive, people: We aren't even 48 hours into 2014 and the first blizzard of this young year is slated to slam the East Coast today. This snow beast is going to be a pain. It is ensured to turn at least one of your commutes into a mess, delay or cancel flights into the Northeast, and definitely keep you from the gym.

Obviously, you should be losing your mind right now. But how much freaking out should you be doing, exactly? Here's what you need to know about the year's first super-storm. 

There Are a Bunch of Factors Which Made This Storm Possible

Perhaps the most obnoxious quality of this storm is that it wasn't initially going to happen. There was some chatter earlier this week that New York City might not even see snow and that it wasn't a big deal, and whatnot. That was before a lot of factors went out of their way to make this special nuisance possible. 

The first component, as Accuweather reports, is a high pressure system over Canada, specifically Quebec. That pushes cold air down into the Northeast, and that concentrated cold air makes all being outside so miserable. That cold air also makes it possible for the wind chills to hit sub-zero temperatures that will hurt your face. 

If you don't believe us, ask Winnipeg. The Canadian icebox actually recorded temperatures this week that were colder than the surface of Mars. So that gives you an idea of what we're dealing with.

The other part of this beast is that it's actually two storms combining into one. The second system which is making this blizzard possible is down South. That system has tons of moisture, and is crawling its way up North to meet that cold air system to give it a hug, and give us all that nasty snow.

"This will lead to whiteout conditions making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel," the National Weather Service said, referring to the conditions expected on Thursday night. "Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely," they added.

The Snowfall

Meteorologists (depending on who you ask) are predicting that New York City will get between six-to-nine inches of snow. Now, we know that sometimes meteorologists get stuff wrong, but it seems like they're pretty confident that this will be a pretty hefty storm. Eric Holthaus, playfully known as America's weather boyfriend, promises it will be the strongest snowfall of the season.

Of course, New York is not alone. In Massachusetts, they're predicting up to 14 inches of snow and Boston is already on plow patrol. Philadelphia is expected to get around four-to-six inches of snow, with the Poconos getting a heavier dusting of five-to-10 inches. And upstate New York, as CNN reports, is preparing itself for a scenario which could bring them 14 inches of snow with wind chills 15 to 25 below zero.

Holthaus suggests that if it's possible, you should try and start shoveling as it falls as tomorrow will be painfully cold. Or stock up on canned goods, because you aren't leaving the house for awhile.

The End

The storm is expected to last until Friday lunch time, which means the worst commute is probably going to be Friday morning. Perfect.

The only bright side to this storm is that it's the New Year and you have a whole new set of sick days to use ... not that we condone using them when you aren't sick and just sitting inside under the covers, catching up to with the new season of American Horror Story, and ordering Dominos or anything.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.