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    Happy Groundhog Day! How much longer will Old Man Winter toy with us this year? When will we be released to the kind mercy of springtime? Well Americans, it's time to pester a defenseless animal with that question. The news from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is in as of 7:28 this morning. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and sit down for the big announcement.

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    Enjoying those warmer temperatures, are you? Well enjoy them real good because it looks like another arctic blast is on the way just two weeks after the last one. Some forecasters are calling it the influences of the "Polar Vortex" again. But the latest prediction isn't supposed to be as bad as extreme as the last time. In a way that's like saying one of your childbirth experiences wasn't as bad as the other. They still both hurt a lot!

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    Baby, it's cold outside. Oh, you've noticed? The vicious "Polar vortex" is making much of the country feel like Antarctica this week. Some cities are warning people not to go outdoors -- at all! Well, it's probably cold comfort (har har), but there are places on Earth still colder than where you are, even with this current freeze. Just be glad you don't live in these five locations -- brr!

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    If you thought you were cold last week in the Midwest, think again. A "polar vortex" is about to descend on much of the country and will bring with it frigid, record-breaking temperatures. Think massive drops below zero, icicles on the eyelashes, and car doors stuck shut. Some schools have even closed for the first time, not for snow, but for cold.


    A "polar vortex" is essentially a whirlpool of frigid, dense air, almost like a tornado of cold. And though they usually stay away from populated areas, this time it won't because the winds that usually keep it contained are absent and so the cold will be moving far afield. To us. Brrr. It could feel as cold as -60 degrees F in some places.

    But it's winter, right? Who cares? Well, this is potentially "life-threatening" according to the National Weather service. Here are five reasons to be scared:

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    It's only January 2, and this winter has already been a doozy! It seems like we're getting slammed with a new snowy, icy, blizzardy, Nor'eastery, or just plain gross and sleety weather threat every week. Now that Winter Storm Hercules is bearing down on the Midwest and Northeast as we speak, obviously everyone is FREAKING OUT. Because that's just what we do when we hear snow is comin'!

    Here, hilarious, crazy, most over-the-top reactions to this and past snowstorms ... 

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    Dozens of destructive tornadoes and storms swept across the Midwest this weekend, leaving at least six people dead in Illinois and demolishing countless neighborhoods, including Washington, Illinois -- where an entire segment of the community is now reportedly homeless. Seven counties in Illinois were declared state disaster areas and a total of 12 states were affected by the storms, which were all part of the same system: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New York.

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    Scary news out of Southeast Asia: In the wake of the most powerful storm on record this year, at least 1,200 people are dead from Super Typhoon Haiyan in an unconfirmed estimate from the Red Cross. The storm, which is the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall with sustained winds at 195 mph, ripped through the Phillipines Friday and is currently headed toward Vietnam. Thankfully the advanced warning of the storm, which is referred to as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, may have saved thousands. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 790,000 people evacuated their homes.

    To say that the aftermath is horrifying is an understatement. There are reports that more than 100 dead bodies are in the streets, more than 100 homes have been flattened on the coastline, and the town of Palo is under 10 feet of water from a storm surge.

    Words don't do the devastation justice. Watch intense footage from inside Typhoon Haiyan, here:

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    If Internet video has blessed us with one thing in great abundance, it's on-air weatherman gaffes. I've seen weatherpeople do everything from suffer a diarrhea attack while cameras were rolling to the lady who managed to draw a hilariously well-endowed penis on her touchscreen while illustrating a construction zone. However, what I'm about to share with you today is probably the most cringeworthy live TV moment in the history of reporting the weather.

    The dubious honor goes to Scot Haney at Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB, who has given us all a GREAT example of why the five-second rule isn't necessarily a foolproof strategy. You might not want to read farther if you currently enjoying your lunch; otherwise, let Mr. Haney be your cautionary tale against eating things off the floor.

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    Twenty-three Boy Scouts from New England ages 12 to 16 were struck by lightning Monday night when the tarp they were huddled under was either struck or something nearby was and they were all jolted. Some had burns, ranging from mild to serious, and others reported a "tingling" sensation. Amazingly, none were seriously injured.

    The odds of being struck by lightning in a single lifetime are about 1 in 3,000. If that seems incredibly high, then you and I agree. It's a cliche to joke about the odds of being struck as though they are so massive, and yet, 1 in 3,000 doesn't seem quite so overwhelmingly huge, does it?

    This could REALLY happen, people! It's quite a feat that all these boys who were huddled together managed to be fine. Even more amazing is that the counselors all insisted that their young charges be treated before them. What an altruistic act of kindness, no?

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    Tim SamarasTen people were killed in the horrific tornado in Oklahoma last week, and sadly, among them were a trio of storm chasers. Tim Samaras, 54, of Bennett, Colorado, was killed Friday, along with his son, 24-year-old Paul Samaras, and Carl Young. Heartbreaking. But what's making matters worse and more upsetting is the fact that there are tons of people out there on the kind and cheery Internet, who are saying that Samaras and Young were "stupid" to go out in the tornado in the first place. "What did they expect?" seems to be a general feeling from many out there.


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What is your family's favorite springtime activity?