Just when you thought winter was over, the biggest blizzard of the season is expected to hit the U.S. early this week and people are freaking out. According to the National Weather Service, a heavy blizzard named Winter Storm Stella is set to hit the Northeast on Mar. 14 and may drop over a foot of snow in the area between southern New England to eastern Pennsylvania. The storm is being called a Nor'easter as well as Winter Storm Stella, and the strong winds, snow, and ice it is expected to bring may cripple travel in major East Coast cities.
The storm has already hit the Midwest as of Mar. 13, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Weather.com reports that Minnesota has already received over a foot of snow, while areas of Wisconsin and Iowa are over the half foot mark.
Blizzard and winter storm warnings are in effect throughout the Northeast as of midday Mar. 13. NYC's Emergency Management Department issued a hazardous travel advisory on Mar. 12. According to Business Insider, Stella could be NYC's biggest March storm since 1888 and the first since 1960 to drop over a foot of snow on Manhattan.
The NWS recommends being prepared for power outages and loss of heat by making sure your home is stocked with food and water and has an emergency heat source like a space heater or fireplace. It also recommends delaying travel plans and keeping an emergency supply kit in your car.
The storm is expected to down trees and powerlines and make being outside dangerous throughout the Northeast. However, people are still keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing. Jokes about the storm online are poking fun at everything from the inaccuracies of weather forecasts to the storm's name.
This Winter Storm's name is Stella. On Tuesday, when we're all stuck in a foot of snow, you'll hear it: "STELLAAAAAAAA!"— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 13, 2017
The NWS reports that Mar. 14's nor'easter will be caused by the low pressure system moving east across the Midwest colliding with another moving west from the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, the Southeast is expected to get hit by heavy rain and the Southwest will continue enjoy warm weather.
Overall, while winter storm forecasts are not always 100 percent on point, the Midwest's current weather signals that everyone in the Northeast should be prepared for a ton of snow. And even if you've been through major blizzards before, be sure to stock up on snacks and take care to bundle up whenever you go outside. Winter Storm Stella may be a big one, so safety (and snacks) are priority no. 1.