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REGIONAL— If you’re thinking this winter has been exceptionally snowy, you’re right, at least for points just south of the North Country. The Duluth area and east-central Minnesota …
REGIONAL— If you’re thinking this winter has been exceptionally snowy, you’re right, at least for points just south of the North Country. The Duluth area and east-central Minnesota are close to topping all-time snowfall records this winter. As of March 23, Duluth was just ten inches shy of the all-time snowfall record of 135.4 inches, set in that memorably snowy and brutally cold winter of 1995-96. That was the winter that Tower set the new state low temperature record of minus 60 degrees for those who don’t remember.
With more snow forecast by Thursday or Friday of this week, and with at least a few more weeks of the snow season still ahead, the prospects of setting a new record in Duluth is certainly there.
Meanwhile, Brainerd appears almost certain to top its snowfall record this year, with 79.6 inches having fallen as of March 22. That put the city just one inch behind its all-time record of 80.6 inches of snow.
While Brainerd and Duluth seemed in a pattern of frequent snowfalls starting in late January, most of those events have remained just south of the North Country, where snowfall has been only slightly above average so far. Local weather stations ranged from 60 inches in Tower to 73 inches in Ely as of early this week. That puts Ely two inches above its long-term average snowfall of 71.2 inches, as measured at the Vermilion college campus, although more snow is likely to fall yet this season.
In International Falls, the weather service has recorded 69 inches as of early this week, which is running only slightly above average for this time of year. Barring more than another two feet of snow between now and the end of winter, this winter’s snowfall won’t even make the top ten for the border city. The city’s snowiest winter was 2008-2009, when International Falls received 125.6 inches of snow.
Current snow depths around the local area range from 20-35 inches, which puts most areas above the 80th percentile for this point in the season.
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