It's Valentine's Day weekend, lovers! Time to slip on your sexiest parka, break out the romantic double Slanket (a real thing that exists) and hunker down for a record-breaking, bone-chilling cold snap.
How cold is it going to be? Frigid. Icy. Positively Dantean. Colder than that ex who bought you a vacuum for your anniversary.
Dozens of locations in the United States will be wracked with the coldest air they've seen in decades this weekend, and by Sunday, temperatures will drop below zero as far south as Texas. That's 40 to 50 degrees below average in some places! About 75% of the country will see below-freezing weather in the coming days. Basically, if you don't live in the Southeast, the more southerly and westerly parts of the Southwest or Hawaii, you're gonna feel it.
But ... isn't it at least a little romantic?
After all, you really shouldn't be going anywhere anyway, since we're in the middle of a pandemic (not sexy!) and all of these record temperatures will make for very dangerous road conditions. Now is the perfect opportunity to experience Valentine's Day the way it was meant to be -- just you, your sweetheart (or house plant) and about three layers of socks. Here are some other festive things you can do to make it special:
Discuss your favorite ice formations
Astrology is cool, but you can probably tell a lot about someone by their favorite forms of frozen water, too. Are you a classic icicle person, or are your tastes more ... singular?
In the Great Lakes region, recent subzero temperatures have cooked up a fresh batch of pancake ice -- disks of water that float along on the surface of lakes and rivers. Ice balls (no, not the kind you drop in cocktails) also pop up when the weather gets wretched. They form along beaches at the edges of lakes, as waves rolls pieces of ice and snow back and forth, much like a snowman. Depending on the conditions and the waves, they can get as big as bowling balls! A fine choice, indeed.
Cash in some sympathy points
Whether you're coupled up or just dating your remote, everyone is going to feel a little sorry for you when the windchill outside your window is -40 degrees. That's how cold it's going to feel in Sioux Falls, North Dakota.
Folks in Des Moines, Iowa will probably need a little more love, too, since they'll probably clock -20 degree temps at some point this weekend. For comparison, the National Weather Service there described a recent 12 degree high as a "heat wave" compared with conditions to come.
Tulsa, Oklahoma is forecast to tie the record for the third longest streak for sub-freezing temperatures, and it may not get back above that level until the middle of next week. The point is, if you're flirting with someone on Tinder or wherever, there's never been a better time to pull one of those pitiful little freezing face emojis. Who could resist?
Plan a cozy couple's wardrobe
You know you're in a long-term relationship when "slipping into something more comfortable" means breaking out the matching plush onesies or the "Smittens," a conjoined mitten experience that has probably been cited in more than one divorce filing.
If you really want to test your tolerance for cutest couple things, you could always wriggle into a two-in-one ugly sweater. Local weather services are stressing that the frigid temps mean you definitely shouldn't be spending time outside, which is perfect, because no one wants to see you wearing these things in public.