On Nov. 4, 1727, the first outdoor celebration at the chapel of Fort Beauharnois on Lake Pepin was postponed due to "variableness of the weather." No kidding.

The sky overhead is as fickle as ever, prone to tantrums of gulley-gushing rains, wild winds and blinding snows. Often on the same day.

Friends on either coast and Florida shudder when the subject of a Minnesota winter comes up. I tell them the truth (tough for a weatherguy): It's not that bad most years. Our winters are trending milder — maybe 1 in 4 is an old-fashioned butt-kicker, a pioneer winter like the one we endured four winters ago. That said, we still don't have the ability to predict the shape and intensity of the "polar vortex" two to four months from now. It'll get cold. It'll snow. We'll survive.

Showers taper this morning with some clearing by afternoon. A little light snow may streak into Minnesota late Monday, but dry weather prevails until a slushy mix next Saturday.

Don't pack away the patio furniture yet — we should see a few more days in the 50s before Thanksgiving.