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REGIONAL- With the 2022-23 snow season hopefully now behind us, it was certainly above average for snowfall here in the North Country, but not the record-setting winter seen just to our south. At the …
REGIONAL- With the 2022-23 snow season hopefully now behind us, it was certainly above average for snowfall here in the North Country, but not the record-setting winter seen just to our south.
At the head of the big lake, Duluth set a new all-time snowfall record, with 140.1 inches as of April 30. Parts of the North Shore received even more snow than that, but snow totals quickly diminished away from Lake Superior.
Ely recorded the most snow in the border country, racking up 103.2 inches, the second highest total since the station began collecting data in 2011. With barely over a decade of weather data, comparisons with past Ely winters is all but impossible. This is a problem for several weather stations in the region, including Babbitt, Orr, Embarrass, Tower, and Cook, where most stations have been in the same location for less than 25 years. That often misses some of the more notorious winters, like 1978-79, 1995-96, and 1996-97.
A further impediment to snowfall comparisons is that many stations, such as Hibbing’s, do not record cumulative snowfall data. Hibbing stations have data going back to 1962, but none of them currently record snowfall.
“Unfortunately we do not have an observer at Hibbing that reports snow anymore,” said Ketzel Levens, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Duluth.
More regional data
Twenty miles east of Ely, the weather station on Snowbank Lake (“Ely 25 E”) recorded 104.0 inches of snowfall, which Levens said was the “record high for this station,” which had data going back to 1987.
The station in Embarrass, with data back to 1995, recorded a snowfall of 85.8 inches, the third highest for this station, behind the winters of 2012-13 and 2013-14. That station has seen at least one change in location since 1995.
The station “Cook 8NE” on the south shore of Lake Vermilion recorded its fifth-highest snow total, with 89.1 inches. Its data goes back to 1998.
Station “Tower 2S,” which is located just south of Tower along Hwy. 135, reported “91.0 inches season snowfall, which ranks as the 11th highest,” according to Levens. While the Tower station has existed for nearly a century, it has changed locations a number of times, most recently in the early 2000s. Levens said a complete range of data goes back to 1926 for the Tower area, but some of the data between 1926-1931 is suspicious, she said. “If we start the data at 1932, this year would rank as 10th highest [snow total],” Levens added.
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