Welcome to Minnesota. Yes, we have running water, electricity and cable. You don’t have to plug in your vehicle, but most winters you can drive on the lakes, if you get the urge.

To put things into perspective, a friend, Dan Lilledahl, told me about the freeway message that greeted drivers in Atlanta on Tuesday. “Winter Weather Alert. Snow Flurries. Use Extreme Caution.” Alerts for flurries? To be fair, Southern states see more ice than snow, creating one giant skating rink. But still.

Minnesota and the Dakotas see the biggest swings in temperature and moisture in North America; the most extreme weather whips up near the center of continents, well away from the moderating influence of oceans.

A reinforcing shot of bug-free air arrives Friday; after starting out near minus 10 in the suburbs, highs creep into single digits under a bright, ineffective sun. A couple of inches of snow may fall Sunday, but next week will feel like early March with a string of 30s; maybe 40s within a week. All things considered it’s been a fairly easy winter. What can possibly go wrong?