Prepare Yourself for the Heaviest Snowfall of the Season and Below Freezing Temperatures for a Week

Step inside the polar vortex.

This is it. This is the snowfall we’ve all been waiting for. Polar Vortex II is turning out to be one of those rare sequels that is actually better than the origin story. That first polar vortex? It was nothing but a couple of cold days in a row. What we’re looking at today—the 8-12 inches of snow and temperatures dropping as low as 9 degrees—is really just the beginning. The New York Times reports “it’s not expected to rise above freezing until at least next Monday.” Yes, this is most definitely the Godfather II of polar vortexes.

And it’s already started. We’re already in it. The snow that settled on you this morning as you made your way to work? It’s not slowing down. It’s going to snow steadily all day and into the night, relentless, piling up on each and every surface, turning the world white until it slowly starts to turn black. But even as night descends, the snow won’t stop falling. “As you go into the darkness, it’s only going to get worse and worse,” said Tim Morrin, a National Weather Service meteorologist, who also, let’s face it, happens to be a poet.

“As you go into darkness, it’s only going to get worse and worse.” But, Tim! No! There has to be another side to the darkness, right? Or is this only the beginning of something bigger? Something darker? It can’t be. The light will come again. We know it will. And when we wake up again tomorrow, our whole world will be white, the kind of white that blinds us and binds us. Here’s a poem to get you through.

The Snow Man

Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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