January is only a few days old, but it's already been a doozy of a new year, weather-wise. In fact, winter 2017-2018 is so severe it has folks recalling the Blizzard of 1978. As the 40th anniversary approaches, survivors are touching wood against a repeat of "snowmageddon." And it's not just superstitious, paranoid old-timers: meteorologists on Twitter say that extreme cold, snow and coastal flooding is blasting records set in that epic storm.

Blizzard of 1978 by the numbers

There were actually two mega-snowstorms in 1978. On Jan. 25-27, a "White Hurricane" blasted the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region.

In Mount Clemens, Michigan, the barometer dropped to a record low 956 mb. Muskegon, Michigan got 27 inches of snow in 24 hours while South Bend, Indiana was buried under three feet. Then, on Feb. 6, a nor'easter blasted the east coast and sent snow in 9-14 foot drifts during the next week. Universities that never closed, closed. Cities shut down. You could walk down the middle of the Interstate, social media users recall. Thousands were stranded at work or on the road and 100,000 cars were abandoned. 51 souls perished in the January storm alone.

December 2017 tops snow, cold records

In December of last year, Erie, Pennsylvania busted it's own and many other snowfall records set in '78 with a Christmas load of 34 inches (for a total of nearly 70 inches thus far).

And it keeps coming. Cadillac, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio were gripped in -24 degree "feels like" temps. Thermometers in many northern cities haven't hit 20 for weeks, busting more records. Folks wonder if their mercury is frozen at zero. On Facebook, folks are telling horror stories of burst and frozen pipes and the dangerous lengths they've had to go to in order to thaw them.

Snow in Florida?

Those in the northeast may pooh-pooh the meager amount, but southern Florida saw snow for the first time in ages. .1 of an inch may not seem like much in the Upper Peninsula but in Tallahassee, it's enough to close a city. And 29 may feel like a heatwave when your at -15, but when southern Louisiana dropped that low last week, it was dangerously cold.

This winter of firsts is giving scoffing northerners a taste of their own medicine. Boston got to feel what it's like to live in hurricane weather. Continuing storms have shattered the city's records for coastal flooding and catastrophic high tides.

A word to the wise

To the survivors, the Blizzard of '78 will always be THE storm. You'll hear stories about how youngsters nowadays have no idea what real snow is. But snow is snow, winter is dangerous, and cold can be deadly.

So learn from the past and prepare for the worst. Be safe and don't drive more than you have to. Keep emergency supplies on-hand and dress for the weather. The worst storm may be yet to come as that Jan. 25 anniversary approaches.