Yes, Minnesota has already taken a punch on the chin with this early round of winter. An early chill rolled in and portions of the north metro and central Minnesota were buried under about a foot of snow. Duluth also got hit, picking up more than half a foot.
But it could be worse. About four or five times worse, depending on where you live.
Across Minnesota's eastern border, about 100 miles into Wisconsin along Lake Superior's south shore, residents in Gile (a neighborhood in the city of Montreal) have reported – and this is not a typo – 50.1 inches of snow this week.
Their immediate neighbors in Hurley have about 36 inches, according to the National Weather Service's snowfall reports Friday morning. Gile has about 798 residents; Hurley about 1,500.
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Why did this happen? The Duluth News Tribune says conditions were "nearly perfect" for the creation of lake-effect snow in that area of Wisconsin. Lake effect snow occurs when cold air sweeps over a relatively warm body of water, which creates clouds that then drop buckets of precipitation, the Weather Channel explains.
And of course, the people on the receiving end need shovels and snowblowers.
Hurley hardware store owner Bill Nasi told Northland's NewsCenter he's been working 14 hours a day this week to keep up with demand.
"We've sold between 50 and 60 snow blowers since Monday,” the store's general manager, Greg Loreti, said. “We are almost out of shovels and salt is going very fast also."
Here are some photos of what's going to be shoveled over the next few days: