Relax, it's only frozen water. For kids of all ages who sled, ski, skate or snowboard, it's an "opportunity for snow," not a risk or threat. Then again, commuters dread a well-timed burst of snow; commute times easily double or triple when the flakes fly. Note to self: If we all worked from home, then this wouldn't be an issue.

Impact depends on a matrix of variables: when the snow arrives, the air temperature (colder storms tend to be icier and more dangerous) and intensity. An inch falling at 10F is often more problematic on the highways than 3 inches falling at 30F.

No problem getting off to work or school today, but the drive home may be slowed by light snow. With air temperatures in the upper 20s I expect freeways to be mostly wet, but watch side streets and secondary roads. About 1-3 inches of slushy snow may fall later today and tonight.

We dry out Thursday with 40F on Friday. A period of wet snow is possible Saturday from a southern storm; too early for details.

NOAA is predicting a 75-80 percent probability of an El Niño mild phase by February. We're still waiting.