The word "snow" usually brings a grimace to many people's faces during holiday weeks, especially when one considers the hassle it can give during times of travel.
But there were more smiles than frowns Wednesday afternoon, as flurries fell on St. Michael and Albertville, turning many brown areas of town into a nice shade of white.
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen forecasts about a half-inch of new snow to fall through Wednesday, with some flurries possible into Thurdsay.
However, it won't officially be enough to fend off a "Brown Christmas."
According to the NWS, the area must have an inch of snow on the ground at 6 a.m. Dec. 25 to avoid that label.
It's not as rare as you think. Brown Christmases occur about 20 percent of the time in the Twin Cities area. The last "Brown Christmas" was in 2006. That one ended quickly, with a blizzard hitting the St. Michael-Albertville area with about 8 inches of snow on New Year's Eve that year.