Chicago, Illinois’ reflective Cloud Gate sculpture covered in snow. Photo: AP

2017, a dumb and stupid year which even the Pope agrees was pretty miserable, will shortly give way to 2018. Fortunately, 2018 is already planning on greeting us with the icy cold of the grave.

Per the Washington Post, January 1st, 2018 will be the coldest New Year’s Day on record in the Eastern U.S. in at least 70 years, with the lower 48 states predicted to experience an average temperature of just eight degrees Fahrenheit (-13.33 Celsius). Roughly a third of the country (34 percent) will plummet below zero degrees Fahrenheit, with just 10 percent of the country remaining above freezing.

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CNN noted:

As many as 27 record lows are expected to be set on New Year’s Day, and 24 record lows for January 2 are possible Tuesday. That’s on top of record lows set late this week, from Danville, Virginia, to Augusta, Maine.

New Year’s Eve is expected to be 20 to 40 degrees colder than usual across much of the US, forecasters say.

From Hettinger, North Dakota—where it was minus 37 degrees Sunday morning—and the Adirondacks of New York down to the very southern tip of Texas, more than 150 million people were under wind chill alerts in the US on Sunday morning, more than double yesterday’s 70 million.

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As New York Magazine noted, cold-weather records are already being set in various places around the country, while a number of regions have seen cancellations of New Year’s Eve festivities. Per CNN, it is so freezing out that sharks are freezing to death on the shores of Massachusetts and Twitter users have posted photos of their windows shattering after the glass allegedly contracted in the cold.

No, this spate of unusually cold weather obviously does not disprove climate change or global warming, as our very smart president suggested on Thursday. 2017 was globally one of the hottest years on record, and 2018 is in all likelihood going to be even hotter. But in the meantime, it’d be a seriously good idea to bundle up before stepping outside tonight or tomorrow.

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[Washington Post]