Well, be ready for more stories like it in the coming week. Because autumn's casual and breezy grip is about to get a little tighter. As one South Carolina observer said it, "If it snows on the pumpkins, you're going to have a bad winter."

Snow is possible this weekend in Minneapolis, a 20-degree drop will hit Chicago by mid-week, and heavier snow is about to move into the Wyoming and Montana.

Just months after a long winter was drawn out in early 2014, and a cool summer eased drought in much of the country, winter is coming again early to the heartland.

The catalyst is a blast of Arctic cold movement dropping in from Canada over the weekend and pushing downward as far as Texas and the Gulf Coast by midweek. Meteorologists label this rapidly dropping movement as a "bombogenesis" or a mid-latitude cyclone dropping in surface barometric pressure in a matter of 24 hours.

If you're not crazy about this early debut for the winter of 2014-15, you're not alone. A majority of Progressive Cattleman readers polled last spring saw an extended winter taking a heavy toll on ranches and feedlots.


So bundle up, and keep those cows and fall-born cales on close pasture this week. end mark