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Attempting to predict a future state of the atmosphere is a perpetually frustrating endeavor. We tap dozens of weather models. The trick, the art, is knowing what to believe and when.

After the cloudiest autumn in decades, Minnesotans are holding candlelight vigils, praying for a ration of sunshine. Cold, dark and gray is an ugly trifecta of weather.

One complicating factor: ice fog. Clear nights with light winds allow temperatures to fall to the dew point, meaning a fully saturated atmosphere. Clouds form on the ground, thick fog capable of frosting trees and roads with a ghostly dusting of icy white. And less than two weeks before the winter solstice, the sun is too low in the sky to easily burn away the fog, meaning a lingering canopy of crud.

There's another risk/threat of seeing the sun today, with highs in the 20s giving way to a late-week warming trend.

The pattern isn't ripe for heavy snow any time soon, although models are hinting at a more formidable potential for flakes two days before Christmas.