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No, it's not your imagination: Almost half of the country is getting pounded with snow — even though we're a week into Spring. (Which is maybe why that fake North Korean propaganda film, depicting a blasted-out American hellscape in which people eat snow to survive, seemed believable to so many. We basically are eating snow, if you think about it.) But how bad is this snow through which we are currently suffering? According to an expert meteorologist at, nearly half of the continental United States is blanketed in snow, most of it concentrated in the Upper Midwest and New England. Here's AccuWeather's helpful map, which illustrates the damage:

This widespread accumulation is all the more jarring because of how little snow piled up around this time last year, when just 7.7 percent of the same area was covered by snow. The effects of snow spread beyond nightmarish car traffic and wet subway steps, though. Excess snow also delays the onset of the spring season:

A drawback to the extensive snowcover is that it reflects sunlight. While it does insulate the ground and sprouting vegetation from severe cold air, it also tends to keep the ground cold and wet during the first part of the spring. Extensive snowcover can also delay or reduce warmups, until it melts. As a result, planting could be delayed for a few weeks in some areas due to cold, wet ground conditions.

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

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