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The Twin Cities might get that white Christmas after all

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Maybe there's a white Christmas coming after all.

An area of low pressure is moving into the Twin Cities region Wednesday, bringing rain and drizzle for many in southern Minnesota during the morning hours, the National Weather Service says.

But rain will switch over to snow in the afternoon and early evening. Minor slushy accumulations are expected for most people, but a lucky few could see up to 2 inches of snow, the weather service notes. The heaviest accumulations are expected east of Interstate 35.

Northeastern Minnesota is also expected to see a few inches of snow with this weather system. Duluth could pick up 1-3 inches, while the arrowhead could see up to to 4 inches, the National Weather Service in Duluth says.

Western and northwestern Minnesota could see rain and a little light snow as well, but accumulations will likely stay under an inch, the weather service notes.

For Minnesotans who don't get snow Wednesday, they'll have another chance late Christmas Day. Another round of wintry weather is expected to impact most of the state Friday night into Saturday, however the National Weather Service says it's still too early to estimate potential snowfall totals.

So, where's all the snow?

Although much of southern Minnesota has been mostly void of snow this winter (or if it has snowed, it's all melted), that's not the case for western and northern Minnesota. As of Dec. 17, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' website shows many communities in the region have 2-8 inches on the ground.

In fact, it's pretty uncommon for the Twin Cities to not have at least an inch of snow on the ground. The DNR says 60-65 percent of winters in the metro since 1900 have had at least 1 inch snow cover by Dec. 17 – and 50 percent have had 2 inches or more by that time.

The DNR also looks into how likely it is for the state to have a white Christmas (having at least an inch of snow on the ground Christmas Day). Northern Minnesota is actually one of the few non-alpine climates in the United States where a white Christmas is almost “a sure bet,” the DNR notes.

But those chances decrease as you move south and west in the state. From 1899 to 2014, the Twin Cities has had a white Christmas 72 percent of the time, the DNR notes, and the last time the metro saw a brown Christmas was last year.

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