With only two days into the new year, the United States is already facing what is predicted to be the biggest snowstorm of the year. The massive blizzard, which has been coined 'Winter Storm Hercules' is predicted to affect more than 103 million Americans across the Midwest and Northeast regions of the country. A
"Winter Storm Hercules is on the move from the Midwest into the Northeast," said Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. "The Northeast I-95 corridor will feel the worst impacts from Hercules Thursday evening into Friday morning. Gusty winds will combine with the snow to produce poor visibility and dangerous travel conditions. Localized blizzard conditions are possible on Long Island and in coastal parts of southeast Massachusetts."
According to the Daily Mail, Canadian meteorologists are also urging people not to go out into the chilling weather if it can be avoided. In the city of Winnipeg, temperatures reached an all-time low of -31C on Tuesday, which was actually colder than temperatures of planet Mars. Wind chill warnings are also being predicted to feel like -40C or -50C. This type of wind chill factor can actually freeze exposed skin in a maximum of five minutes!
However, US snowfall and wind chill factor predictions aren't the only issues at hand. Another daunting factor of the grueling weather is that meteorologist are predicting that the storm will be quite slow. Meteorologist Michael Palmer has also predicted that in addition to the snow fall, the wind factor will also serve as a grave complication for those weathering the severe conditions. "It's going to be a long-duration event," said Palmer. "The wind is going to whip around the snow and reduce the visibility, creating near-blizzard conditions in Boston, much of Connecticut and then down maybe as far south as New Jersey and even New York City."
Snowfall of 5 to 7 inches is expected for New York City. But, meteorologists are predicting an estimated 12 to 18 inches of snow in Buffalo. Another 8 to 12 inches of snow is also expected for the states of Maine and Vermont.