National Weather Service In Duluth Talks About Unique Snowstorm

DULUTH, Minn. — The National Weather Service in Duluth shared insight on Thursday about the unique snowstorm system that has hit the Northland over two days this week.

One meteorologist says Duluth has seen nearly two feet of snow up on the hill, making it the eighth largest amount of snowfall collected over two days in the city.

But, there’s a big difference between what happens near the lake versus up the hill.

That’s why some of Duluth looks like a snow globe, while other parts saw a messy mix of snow, sleet, and rain, leaving behind slush and standing water.

“This snowstorm was very warm, and if you’re down by the lake, it just takes a little bit of extra warmth from the lake because usually the lake is pretty cool, well in the winter time it’s kind of the warm factor so and with this particular storm it was just warm enough down there to keep everything kind of rain snow mix rather than just pure snow like up here,” Jonathan Wolfe, a meteorologist with the NWS in Duluth, explained.

He said the amount of snowfall varies across the Northland.

Finland has seen 30 inches of snow from this, while Grand Portage has seen 10.

“This was a very slow-moving storm, it was very well-forecasted because we started talking about this a week ago, and you know as we got closer it was more apparent that it was going to suck in a lot more Gulf moisture too, and that combination of both Pacific and Gulf moisture and a slow-moving track with this kept it around here for awhile,” Wolfe said. “The higher your temperature, the more water content that’s in the atmosphere, and as soon as you start getting below freezing, the water content and air decreases a lot, so for this to be a really heavy, wet snow it has to be near 30 degrees to actually get that extra moisture content in the snowfall.”

Wolfe said he and some of the other meteorologists have been sleeping at the NWS office since Tuesday as they work around-the-clock to track the storm.


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