Here it is, the third week of January, historically the coldest week of the year. Yes, it was really cold. Not polar vortex cold like the past two years, not cold as interstellar space, which, according to the Adler Planetarium ad is -454 degrees Fahrenheit, but cold enough to remind us that it does get really cold, here.
Cars don't start. There are switching problems with the trains. Pipes can burst. Wind can cause power outages.
Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday in January, which is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Why wait till Monday? Sunday, the furnace went out and the wind loosened a power line--I had no heat, no phone, and no internet. Bad things can happen all the time! Any day. Every day. Just look at the recent death toll in the rock world. There's a hell of a band in heaven, now.
But the days are getting longer. It's been a month since the winter solstice. We have gained almost 30 more minutes of light, and we are now less than 2 weeks away from Groundhog Day, or Candelmas, the cross-quarter day between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.
All week there have been forecasts of an epic blizzard in the Northeast--possibly more than 2 feet of snow predicted. It's called Winter Storm Jonas, but there are other names being considered--Snowzilla, Snowpocalypse, Storm of the Century and Make Winter Great Again. The readers of Slate have voted to call the storm -- DavidSnowie!
While we are experiencing a light dusting of lake-effect snow here, there is sleet in the Carolinas, and already 16 inches of snow in Tennessee. And all along the East coast, people in small towns and big cities like Washington, D.C. and New York, and Boston are stocking up on groceries and batteries for the weekend.
Travel will be affected. Flights will be cancelled. Schools are closing early.
Will there be power outages? Com-Ed crews are heading East already.
Yes, this storm may be historic. It is a classic Nor-easter, with hurricane-force winds predicted. There are comparisons to Superstorm Sandy. Coastal tides will be affected by the full moon, too.
Is this an effect of global warming? Yes. Is El Nino involved? Yes.
Will schools be closed on Monday? Can you say Thundersnow?