Katherine Sleder shovels her driveway Friday outside her home in Traverse City, Mich. "It's like we're getting all our winter in one week," said Sleder. Snow accumulation is below normal across the Upper Midwest for the second consecutive winter. It's picked up over the past week as temperatures have fallen dramatically.
In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Mason Bemiller, 17, from Northridge High School in Middlebury, Ind., snowboards through the terrain park at Swiss Valley ski area in Jones, Mich. The lack of snow in some places, and in even places with snow that are getting less than usual, illustrates the increasingly fickle nature of winter in the Midwest, where dry, mild weather is making life difficult for businesses that rely on abundant snow.
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Just a week ago, things looked dire for Sarah and Tim Long, owners of Timbers Resort in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Snow is their winter lifeblood, drawing outdoor sports enthusiasts from far and wide, yet the ground was bare. Then came a desperately needed arctic blast. Suddenly the drifts were thigh-deep — and snowmobilers were flocking to the mom-and-pop operation's cottages on the northern end of Lake Gogebic.