A rough, back-of-the-napkin calculation suggests we've been cheated out of nearly 2 feet of snow this winter. Two of our biggest storms, on Sunday and Christmas Day, fell as a soaking rain. Had it been consistently cold enough for snow most of this (alleged) winter, like it was a generation ago, we'd have 50 inches instead of 27. And there might still be snow on the ground. Is that too much to ask for in February?

Hey, I'm enjoying the freakishly premature outbreak of spring like everyone else. It's a symptom of Minnesota's warming winters, but the 60-degree wow factor comes with a downside: stress and dislocation for Minnesotans who make a living from cold and snow. More ticks and mosquitoes surviving through the winter. Stress on fruit trees and a longer pollen season.

Snowy redemption on Friday? Don't bet on it. A few slushy inches may fall, but the heaviest snow band sets up south and east of the Twin Cities, where plowable amounts are likely.

Old Man Winter is very much on life support, but don't retire the coat (or snow shovel) just yet.