As another spring snowstorm readies a glancing blow to the Twin Cities on Wednesday, winter-weary metro residents can take heart: People in Duluth may be shoveling one of northern Minnesota’s biggest April snowfalls on record.
Duluth, which already has recorded one of the top 10 snowiest years on record, likely will be hit with 6 to 10 inches of heavy, wet snow before the storm moves out by Wednesday night, said Linda Engebretson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Duluth. Northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph, with 35-mph gusts, off Lake Superior will ratchet up the nastiness.
But in the Twin Cities, only an inch or two of snow is expected. Hennepin and Ramsey counties and much of the north metro will end up with the most, while the south metro likely will see only rain, said Rick Hiltbrand, a forecaster in the Weather Service’s Chanhassen office.
The winter weather comes on the heels of Tuesday’s record-low temperature in the metro area of 18 degrees, a reading that tied records set in 1875 and 1935.
Apparently winter doesn’t know it’s spring.
With the 118 inches of snow that already has fallen this season, Duluth already is well above the 86.1 inches it usually averages for a season, Engebretson said. At a time when most people are yearning for spring, the city already has gotten 13.4 inches of snow this month, nearly twice the April average of 6.9 inches. Last April, Duluth racked up 50 inches of snow.
The expected new snowfall is likely to fall short of one of its biggest April storms — 12.1 inches of snow on April 3, 2007, Engebretson said. Northwestern Wisconsin is expecting 10 to 15 inches of snow on Wednesday, she said.
The storm will hit after temperatures in the 50s teased Duluth residents last week and the snow cover had been reduced to 7 inches by Tuesday, Engebretson said.
“We’ve melted a lot of snow,” she said. “And now we’re back to winter.”
“And next week we’ll probably be back to spring again,” Engebretson said. “That’s just spring in the Upper Midwest.”
Temperatures in the Twin Cities also will be more springlike next week, with 50s in the forecast by Sunday and “well into the 60s by next week,” Hiltbrand said.