Happy Drips For the first time in over 2 weeks the mercury will rise above freezing today. Prepare to be serenaded by the soothing sounds of dripping icicles and gurgling drain-spouts. Happy noises. NOAA reports the first half of December saw the 4th coldest daytime highs and 21st coldest nighttime lows in the Twin Cities since 1873. Nothing like easing into winter. A puff of Pacific air treats us to mid-30s today. More waves of Canadian air slosh south, chilling us back down through the weekend - but not as Nanook as the first week of December. As long as steering winds are howling from the west-northwest Minnesota's weather will be dominated by a family of Alberta Clippers; each one preceded by a brief warm-up, followed by cold winds and flurries. These fickle low pressure swirls moving in from Edmonton move quickly; starved for moisture, unable to tap a deep, rich layer of water vapor in the Gulf of Mexico. One such storm may dump significant snow this weekend from Kansas City to Chicago. On the warm side of the storm highs surge into the 70s on the east coast - 60s into Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Talk about weather-whiplash! The January Thaw may come early this year.