The Twin Cities metro area is about to get a hefty blanket of snow.

Up to 10 inches of snow is expected to accumulate from Monday afternoon to late Tuesday, seriously gumming up a couple of commutes but lending charm to the holiday decorations popping up on city streets and suburban yards.

That’s the prediction of the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, which has issued a winter storm watch for much of central and southern Minnesota, for Monday and Tuesday. It will start in southwestern Minnesota and spread eastward, with 7 to 10 inches on the ground by the time it’s all over.

But before we trade a green November in the metro area for a white December, expect a largely sunny Sunday in which to enjoy the last glimpses of green grass. Sunday’s high in the metro area will be near 34, with calm winds, according to the Weather Service. Late Sunday, clouds will congregate.

By Monday afternoon, snow — or possibly sleet and rain, given a high near 35 — will be falling. By midnight, a couple of inches of snow are likely to be on the ground, with 3 to 5 more inches falling early Tuesday.

After an afternoon lull, there’s a chance of further snow — up to 3 more inches — later Tuesday. Accumulation is expected to be heaviest in the east metro.

By Wednesday, the sun will be out again, with a high near 33 and a low of 19. Thursday and Friday look cool and dry, the Weather Service said.

Meanwhile, area lakes are starting to show skims of ice. It won’t be ready to walk on, much less launch a snowmobile or car onto, for many weeks, authorities warn. Stay safe: Keep the kids in sight and the dog on a leash.

Staff report