A late winter storm dumped about a foot of snow in parts of northern Minnesota while other areas just ended up wet.
Lake Superior and elevation made all the difference for what appeared on the ground.
"Downtown Duluth has pretty much seen rain today or wet snow that's been melting as it hits," said Steve Gohde, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth. But about six miles away, up over Duluth's hillside, more than six inches of snow was on the ground at the Duluth International Airport at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Chalk it up to 600 to 800 feet of elevation and temperatures that hit freezing away from Lake Superior, he said.
More snow was reported up the North Shore, ranging from six inches to 12 inches north of Silver Bay, Gohde said. Another few inches of snow might accumulate by the time the storm ends after midnight, he said.
The heavy, wet snow combined with winds that hit 40 miles per hour to make driving difficult, sending cars into spins and others into ditches.
Rain pooled in some of the Interstate 35 tunnels in Duluth, forcing the road there to be closed until crews cleaned it up, Gohde said.
The recent warm-weather meltdown along with two to four inches of rain on Tuesday has made some areas a wet mess. "A lot of sump pumps are working hard," he said. "There's just some nuisance flooding in yards."
The didn't revive all-things winter through. With spring feeling inevitable, Spirit Mountain in Duluth will close its ski runs for the season at 4 p.m. Sunday. Only a couple inches of new snow had fallen on the mountain by Wednesday afternoon.
But up the North Shore at Lutsen Mountains, winter reigns until May. The ski mountain is open daily through April 10 and on weekends through May 1.
"We got eight inches of snow so far and should have 14 inches by the time it ends," said Jim Vick, Lutsen Mountains' marketing director.
A Winter Storm Warning was in effect until 7 a.m. Thursday for an area stretching from International Falls on the Canadian border south to Hinckley in east central Minnesota and east across northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
The storm spawned blustery conditions elsewhere in Minnesota. A high wind advisory was in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday for counties south of Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota. Sustained winds of 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected in places such as Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St. Peter, Mankato, Waseca, Blue Earth, Mankato, Owatonna and Fairmont.
Behind the storm, temperatures in the metro area will be quite March-like, with highs in the 40s the rest of the week with lows in the upper 20s and low 30s. To the north, highs will be in the 30s through Saturday, the weather service said.