Northern central states are astute at fighting driving snow and subzero chill, but the early cold snap this week could hit them like a boxer's punch thrown before the opening bell.
This blast, reminiscent of last January's deep freeze, comes too early for comfort. Leaves are still on the trees, and a snow dump is coming – a foot or more in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The leaves can make the trees accumulate more snow, weighing branches down more than they would if they were bare, CNN meteorologist Tom Sater says.
More falling limbs could mean more accidents, downed lines and power outages. But there's more.