Winter Wallop

By Sarah Dallof

Published 01/02 2014 04:52PM

Updated 01/02 2014 05:01PM

(NBC News) More than 90 million people across the Midwest and Northeast were bracing for a major snowstorm and blizzard-like conditions, followed by dangerous, bone-chilling cold that could sap the melting power of salt and threaten lives.

"It's going to be brutal," Weather Channel coordinating meteorologist Tom Moore said of the expected sub-zero temperatures. "People that are vulnerable are really going to be hurting."

While the immediate focus was on snow -- with up to 10 inches possible in New York City, possibly 18 inches burying New England, and more than 1,800 flights canceled -- the cold behind the snowstorm could be crippling. 

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