On average, three out of four December 25ths in the Twin Cities are white, with an inch or more of snow on the ground. There can be wild swings from year to year. Christmas 2014 was brown, but 2013 saw 9 inches. Snow lovers of all ages got their Big Gift.

This year may take a minor meteorological miracle to get a whopping inch on the ground at MSP next Friday morning. The same El NiƱo signal overwhelming all other signals, circulations and oscillations will dominate weather over North America through the winter. This near-record warming of Pacific Ocean water isn't forecast to fade until the spring.

The next feeble storm arrives Wednesday; the atmosphere warm enough for a sloppy mix at MSP. A plowable accumulation is possible from Detroit Lakes to the Brainerd Lakes area, but amounts in the metro probably will be negligible.

There's little doubt a cold front will trigger a rash of coats and hats within 48 to 72 hours. Friday's windchill may dip into single digits. Temperatures rebound, staying above 32 from Sunday through next week. Sorry Santa.