The forecast calls for 3 to 5 inches of powdery snow later today, and most Minnesotans will shrug. "Flurries," according to old-timers. A similar forecast for Atlanta or Dallas might activate the National Guard. Here it's a collective sigh — or cheers if you're a snow lover.

Driving on snow is an acquired skill, more like surfing or snowboarding on four wheels. You learn to treat the accelerator and brakes like eggshells. "It's all about the gentle tap," my father advised 16-year-old me, driving a stick-shift VW bug. You've heard this a zillion times, but keep your lights on, as much to be seen as to see.

Unlike last week's snowy maelstrom, snow later today will not be accompanied by tropical storm-force winds. I expect 3 to 5 inches before it tapers Wednesday morning; plowable, but without big drifts, easier to get off the roads.

This may be the last significant snow for some time. Models show a dull pattern, with a January thaw next week — right on schedule. Enjoy some perfect powder in chilly air while you can.