Batten down the hatches, have you heard? There's a weather situation a'brewing, one with the best of all possible weather situation names. (Disclaimer: Should Snor'eastercane Sandy actually hurt people, which we really hope she doesn't, we will disavow any and everything in this post. Her name is Sandy! She's a snor'eastercane. What could she have to hate about?) But what's a snor'eastercane, you ask? Allow us to tell you everything we know about Snor'eastercane Sandy, including how you should feel about her possible presence in the East Coast just in time for Halloween. Remember how much fun Snowtober Saul was? (I'm still holding a grudge that we didn't go with Snoctober.)
Snor'eastercane Sandy, so dubbed by the Wall Street Journal ("Sandy," of course, comes from those folks who name storms) is an "unlikely meteorological scenario: a hurricane blending with an inland snowstorm just in time for Halloween." Hurricane Sandy, a hurricane not yet a snor'easter, is currently approaching the Bahamas. Don't worry, weather in New York City and the East Coast will be pretty great for the rest of the week. "For next week, however, it’s starting to seem like not a question of if but where this giant 'snor’eastercane' might strike," writes Eric Holthaus. "Regardless of the exact landfall location on the East Coast, impacts will be felt from Florida to Maine." He gives "two-out-of-three odds that Greater New York experiences significant impacts from this storm"—by that he means primarily "storm surge, wind and heavy rains" (and maybe snow). She could cost billions. Keep a watch on her here; via the AP's Seth Borenstein, scientists predict a 70 percent chance she'll hit the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic (otherwise, she might just snor'eastercane herself out at sea). There will also be a full moon, meaning TIDES and WEREWOLVES. Keep an eye out.
There are as many feelings about Sandy and her snor'easterncane status as one might have about various types of pie, mincemeat (gross) to pumpkin (yes, please) to pecan (good, but so bad for you) to meat (terrifying, maybe delicious?). In hopes of heightening your sense of preparedness for his weather situation, we have analyzed the various types of ways in which you may prepare, mentally, physically, emotionally, and otherwise for this upcoming gambit with Ole Man/Lady Weather.
Celebrate Such Words as Snor'eastercane. Hark, the three-word weather portmanteau! Portmanteauing in itself is wondrous, and this form is a thing of beauty, combining "snow" with "nor'easter" with "hurricane." When you take all of those things apart and look at them one by one, perhaps it's daunting—if you are the fearful type, even terrifying. But together there's a beautiful sibilance combined with a certain adorableness. The Tweeters of the world agree (sort of)! This is the best weathermanteau yet. Discuss amongst yourselves: With or without the apostrophe? Or, something else entirely? Are we not settled on Snor'eastercane? (We are!) New York's Dan Amira writes at Daily Intel, however, that there are other options to be considered: Snowicane and hurricarnage, for instance. Amira appears to be fighting to make "snowicane" happen. The New Haven Register prefers "Frankenstorm." Gawker likes "snowcone." (Do not mock the snor'eastercane.) We'd add norsnowcanepalypse, hurrisnoweaster, "big, big storm," or Sandy Snowballs ... except when you got it, you got it, "snor'eastercane" is pretty much perfection. Disagree? Email me.
"Stock Up on Things" and Prepare to "Be Cozy." If you adored Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter, or being at home and "blogging" while during the great snowpocalypse of 2010, or wearing warm cashmere socks and padding about contentedly in your apartment for days on end as the snowdrifts grow higher and higher and you occasionally look up from your knitting out the window at all that whiteness and feel a comfortable warm glow emanate from deep within you, somewhere near, maybe, your heart, this weather pattern is for you. Just, you know, buy the important things so you don't have to leave your house: Canned goods. Batteries. A radio. Wine, lots of wine (or whatever you drink). Bottled water, we suppose. And there was that thing we learned with our hurricane go-round the time before, with Irene: Fill your bathtub with water. Why? So you can drink it or cook with it or flush the toilet with it ... you know, just in case. You got this covered. You can live off the land for a full week, and by "land" we mean, "the stuff you bought at the bodega" and/or "order from Seamless."
Plan Things. Make a list, check it twice, check it a million times, because finally you have time to do that. You can catch up on all the seasons of Homeland. You can complete that crossword puzzle, so help you God. You can read books, all the books you haven't read, or clean your apartment, or call your mother. Make preserves! Reupholster a chair! Write your novel! Anything you have not done, you can hunker down and do—America's Next Top Model marathon?—because you won't be able to do anything else, and that brings a certain feeling of peace.
Fear. Perhaps you've just arrived, a tourist to the Big City, without a hat or gloves or even a pair of hardy snowpants (how could you forget your snowpants)? You have no idea what to do, and you are scared. Perhaps you are the anxious sort, easily swayed by changes to your atmosphere and environment. If so, get ready to FREAK OUT. As Amira explains, "Holy shit, everyone, a giant storm is going to destroy New York next week and everyone needs to start freaking out immediately!!!" If you want to be scared, you can start that now, and keep with it through next week.
Experience Joy at Doomsday Predictions! The Awl's Choire Sicha fits into this category of storm preparedness, reminding us of how happy Eric Holthaus appears to be that a storm might come and destroy us all. Holthaus fits in this category as well, of course. But this is a great thing! Sicha writes, "Hurricane Sandy terribly abused Jamaica last night, and is en route, possibly, maybe, up the Eastern seaboard, where she has a hot date with a nor'easter blowing across the U.S. This has weather folks very excited. But none are more excited than the Wall Street Journal's Eric Holthaus. We'd like you to get to know him. He's the most fun of all the weather dudes who are absolutely freaking out right now." EEEEEE. Wooooo. Yikes. "Fortunately, our weather boyfriend Eric Holthaus will be on hand to tweet us through it." Yes.
Daydream About Finding a Snor'eastercane Love. True story: There is such a thing as the hurricane boyfriend (there's also the hurricane enemy, and the tropical storm frenemy, and the rainy-day lover, but that's neither here nor there). Point being, the weather opportunist will use this storm as one would use any—to suit his or her needs. So, get out on those streets while there's still time, say your hellos and your "HELLOOOOs," the time is nigh and if we're gonna get hit by this thing, you should at least do it in the arms of someone mildly attractive. Or so we'd like to think. Pro tip: Ask a likely candidate for your affections about the canned goods or delicious-looking crusty baguette in their grocery basket, or how their water and whisky supply is holding up, as a convo-starter. Wander into a bookstore looking for Mary Higgins Clark mysteries to keep you entertained and linger a bit longer than you need to near the stranger perusing the Robert Ludlum paperbacks. While in the hardware store, let your hand touch the hand of that mysterious stranger as you reach for the same heavy-duty long-battery-life flashlight, and split the flashlight in half and share it. Then write your name and number in a book and hope he finds it and calls you before the snor'eastercane begins, because a snor'eastercane might make travel tough! Confidence booster: We all look the best in candlelight. Devastating truth: The person who keeps you warm in a snor'eastercane is the one you should hold onto, at least for the duration of the snor'eastercane when your heat still hasn't kicked on because it's only October. But seriously, is Eric Holthaus single?
Get Excited, Kinda. It's like Christmas, a little bit, isn't it? All the anticipation, what you might get on the big day, the snow coming early this year, or, if past history is any indication, right on time? So long as you don't think about climate change and whatnot, or what happens if ... [reverts to fear now]. Let's think positive.
Insets via NOAA; Flickr/Chiot's Run; Flickr/Yamanaka Tamaki.