It's going to be a brown Christmas

Still dreaming of a white Christmas? A crisp sleigh ride over the river and through the woods to grandma's?

Well, according to the weather experts at the Department of Natural Resources, we can all forget it.

"Basically, it would take a Christmas miracle to get an inch of snow on the ground," says climatologist Peter Boulay.

Though the forecast over the next couple of days does predict a dusting, Boulay says it more than likely won't accumulate to a full inch at the St. Paul-Minneapolis airport. That's apparently the loose requirement for the metro area's 2011 holiday to be declared a "white Christmas."

Is that evil, evil global warming setting out to ruin Christmas? Actually, Boulay says if you crunch 105 years worth of Christmas weather data (which you can check out here if you're curious), there's about a 72 percent chance of snow on the ground come the 24th of December. In recent years we've actually had a succession of white Christmases -- the last brown one was in 2006. On each Christmas since then the drifts have gotten higher and higher -- six, eight, 12 and a whopping 19-inches last year.

"This Christmas is shaping up a lot like 2006 -- balmy," says Boulay.

Guess we got the short end of the candy cane this year.

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