Sure, it's -17°C, and it's been colder than that the last six nights in a row, but let's put this in perspective: last year was way, way worse:
The new year has opened very wintry bringing the city major league doses of snow and cold. Through January 9 temperatures have averaged a frigid -10.9°C and there have been 193 mm of snow. But, it was much colder and snowier during the same period last year with temperatures averaging -13.4°C and the city buried under nearly 509 mm of snow.
With clear skies and a fresh snow cover, Saturday will dawn bitterly cold with another round of subzero [Fahrenheit] temperatures, but readings will moderate in the afternoon as highs approach the upper teens [Fahrenheit]. Slow warming will continue with the mercury flirting with the freezing mark by Thursday and closing in on 6°C by next weekend. The only significant snow threat on the horizon comes Sunday night and Monday as a weather system moves through the Midwest, but current forecast trends point to the bulk of the snow falling south of Chicago.
Yesterday, white-out conditions contributed to a 193-vehicle pile-up in central Michigan that killed one and hurt 23:
There were 26 semis and 34 cars involved on the eastbound side of the freeway, and several vehicles there were burning in the pileup west of exit 92. Among them was a truck that carried 20 tonnes of hazardous materials and another hauling fireworks. Shortly before noon, those fireworks caught fire, causing an extended display of aerial explosions. Police said crews are still fighting flareups and monitoring the air as of 8:23pm [Saturday].
The westbound side of the freeway saw 50 semis and 83 cars involved.
More than 12 hours after the pileup, wreckage was still smoldering and emergency crews were still cleaning up.
I-94 is closed in both directions from exit 88 east of Galesburg to exit 92 west of Battle Creek, the Michigan Department of Transportation said. The expressway is expected to remain shut down until at least midnight.
More personally, on Monday night my car got tapped by a taxi who locked his brakes and slid right into the corner of my bumper causing $3100 in damage to my car and, of course, none to his.
So: if you're not familiar with snow, don't drive in it; drive more slowly than you think is necessary; and know exactly how your car behaves.