Midwest buckles under major winter storm, 30 states [are] crippled by 'life-threatening' winter storm and Groundhog Day Storm to be severe raise our anxiety level and sets us up for the potential of snow to kill, which is a good beginning. Watching the snow track: how bad will it be? adds to the foreboding, while global concern -- Fifty-year storm dumps snow from Texas to Maine and Winter storm paralyses over half the US (Australia), In photos: US winter storm -- shows this is not simply a locally overhyped story about a snowstorm in the winter.
Video and the involvement of the federal government adds credibility to the threat: Video: FEMA Chief: Saving Lives Priority No. 1 as Winter Storms Bear Down; as does Area agencies in disaster mode.