- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2014

President Obama hit the links and enjoyed high temps in Hawaii as a massive blizzard bore down on much of the Midwest and the Northeast, and meteorologists predict the storm could tie traffic, cut power and give headaches to 40 million or so Americans.

“It’s going to be a long-duration event,” said Michael Palmer, a leading forecaster at The Weather Channel, to NBC. “The wind is going to whip around the show and reduce the visibility, creating near-blizzard conditions in Boston, much of Connecticut and then down maybe as far south as New Jersey and even New York City.”

Farther south — the regions of Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia — can expect shivery conditions, with temperatures around 25 degrees Fahrenheit, The Weather Channel said. But snowfall will be minimal, and meteorologists give it about a 10 percent chance for snow in the nation’s capital on Friday.

Boston, on the other hand, is going to be hit hard.

Snow already started falling in the city on Thursday morning, while winter storm warnings were issued for Chicago, New York and communities in between, NBC said. In total, about a foot and a half of snow is predicted for some areas, with the worst coming late Thursday evening into Friday.

“It’s going to be a pretty significant storm, which will cause major travel disruption for a lot of people early in the new year,” said Dave Houtz, a senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel, in NBC. “Any untreated roads will be a real mess.”

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already sent out the word of warning to travelers.

“Take mass transit,” he said, in NBC. “Especially tomorrow.”

Mr. Obama, meanwhile, has been enjoying a lengthy stay in his native Hawaii. He and his family are renting  the $24,500-per-week gated Plantation Estate, which offers security and privacy on the white sand beach of Kailua Bay.

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