"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water," quipped comedian Carl Reiner. Folks living near Washington, D.C., may soon agree. Media spin is in overdrive and the hype may be warranted this time.

Washington is a city of "southern efficiency and northern hospitality," said John F. Kennedy. It's a city where a forecast of 1-3 inches of snow can empty out supermarket shelves and trigger snow days. The blizzard charging up the East Coast will dump close to 2 feet on D.C., with 5- to 8-foot drifts. New York City will see less (6-10 inches) but coastal flooding from 50 mile-per-hour onshore winds will be severe.

While we tune in the Weather Channel to remind us what an epic snowstorm looks like, Minnesota will see minor clippers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, each one capable of a snowy burst. No school-closing snows in sight. No more cold waves, either; in fact we may hit freezing four days next week.

We've picked up 38 minutes of daylight since Dec. 21. Thank (or blame) El NiƱo for a southerly detour in the storm track. Maybe next winter.