“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘thank you’ that would suffice,” wrote Meister Eckhart. My wife and I just returned from the Middle East: Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Dubai. We saw Syrian refugee settlements in Amman, Jordan, and heard some heartbreaking stories. After a trip like that you return with new eyes, and a heightened sense of gratitude.

In what may be an omen of a “stunted winter” to come today’s storm (it hardly fits the definition) tracks south of MSP. A couple inches of slush may fall on Mankato and Rochester, a coating to an inch for the metro, with most roads staying wet. No. Big. Deal.

El Niño winters tend to be milder, with a majority of the biggest storms tracking south of Minnesota. Expect dry roads and chilled sunshine Friday and Saturday; the next chance of light flurries late Sunday. Long-range models show a relatively mild, Pacific wind flow returning by mid-December.

The WMO says 2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period on record, worldwide. Details in the weather blog.