If you don't live in Northeast Ohio, Buffalo, or perhaps Western Michigan, you may not be familiar with lake effect snow. The short explanation is that wind blows over the unfrozen lake, picks up moisture, then dumps that shit on you as snow. It generally dumps the snow starting at the shore or a couple of miles inland, then it peters out 30 to 40 miles in. If you checked the radar here, right now, you'd see white bands that extend from the lake to that inland point, and nothing to the south.
More to the point, we can get slammed here while Columbus doesn't see a thing.
So I went to practice this morning. I'm about 20 miles inland, our practice site is about two. The closer I got to the lake, the better, but what a mess. Surprisingly enough, even the SUV jerks that think they're invincible were driving responsibly.
I wouldn't say it's really hard to drive in snow, exactly. I think you have to know the limits of your abilities and you car, and understand the physics of it. Slamming on your brakes is bad, and those are the idiots that end up in the median. Point the wheels where you want to go and apply appropriate acceleration. Know that at a certain speed, even with four-wheel drive, you cease to be able to control the car.
The thing that really surprised me, because I only had serious snow once after I got the car in March, was anti-lock braking. On city streets, like when I get off the freeway, I like to do a brief brake tap to see how much I'll slide. Well, ABS doesn't allow that, so instead it makes a horrible noise, vibrates the hell out of the car, and pulses the brakes. That's a good idea I suppose, because you can't steer if you're sliding, but I'm not entirely sure I like giving up that control. It doesn't feel natural.
I have to admit that I'm a little fascinated by snow driving. In college, my best man Frank actually took a course on it, so I learned a lot of interesting things from him. Also, my dad used to rally race, and he took Frank and I up to a frozen lake in Michigan once. Surprisingly, a lot of the video games get the slide-n-drive physics right (except that if you plant the car in a snow bank, you're not just going to back out and continue).
I haven't had a big enough parking lot in years to try a 360 spin, but it's one of the most satisfying things you can do in your street car without destroying it.