Virtually no one likes the snow circus forecast for today.

But while most will complain loudly, then do battle with salt and shovels, those with snow phobia will be avoiding the white stuff at all costs.

"They aren't going to like me," said WBNS-TV (Channel 10) chief meteorologist Chris Bradley, who predicted yesterday that Columbus would be in the bull's-eye of a storm today, with 5 to 7 inches of snow expected by 2 p.m.

Dennis Marikis, a Mansfield psychologist who has several patients with the problem, said the phobia can be debilitating.

Chionophobia, the official term for it, is an abnormal fear of snow. Symptoms include heavy breathing, tenseness, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea and an irregular heartbeat.

[Full story] [Other fears]

It's pretentious to call a such a fear irrational, because I'm sure people who become white-knuckled at the sight of something harmless would love to feel otherwise. So I won't do that.

But I will say that snow is a beautiful thing. Some of my fondest memories happened while half-buried in powder -- or fully burying my kid sister in it.

Playing hockey in my backyard pond, skiing around Lake Tahoe, hiking the back country at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, my first snowboard descent at Alpine Valley -- these things were not possible without frozen water falling gently from the sky.

Snow, I love you. I'll say that I loved the forecast for today. This snowfall might mean that the sled-dog race scheduled this weekend at Punderson State Park. For more on that, click here.