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'Winter Misery Index' confirms 2014's weather has been particularly miserable

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Detroit, MI is among the hardest hit cities on the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index, also called the "winter misery index." (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Feeling a bit under the weather lately? You're not alone. 

A new "misery index" released by U.S. National Weather Service meteorologists proves that what many Canadians have already been proclaiming for months is true: the winter of 2014 is one of the most miserable on record. 

Created by meteorologist Barbara Mayes Boustead, the experimental Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI or "misery index") judges the severity of each winter based on its daily temperature and snowfall levels. 

Each day of the season is given a numeric score based on its relative coldness and precipitation data. At the end of each winter, a final score is tabulated to gauge its severity against winters of the past. 

As Boustead put it in an interview with Mashable, the index attempts to put the relative "badness" or "goodness" of a specific winter into historical context. 

According to the index, many cities in the U.S. are experiencing their most miserable winters in more than 60 years -- Chicago, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Moline, Ill. among them. 

Detroit, however, is the hardest-hit city of all according to Boustead. 

"For people in Detroit who think they've had it bad, they have," the meteorologist told Mashable, noting that the city has had its highest score on the AWSSI since 1950. 

Validation for griping about the weather aside, Boustead says the index is useful for more than simply measuring a city's winter misery; it could also be used to help predict economic impacts and help researchers look for relationships between harsh winter weather and large-scale climate cycles. 

What has winter been like in your region so far? Would you say it's one of the worst you've experienced in some time? Weigh in below.

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